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‘Capital Region Gives Back’ Vet Kristen Garzone Launches Foundation in Advance of Annual Run to Believe

Funds raised from this year's virtual run on May 8 will be split between Garzone's new The Believe KNT Foundation and Every Mother Counts, for which she's an ambassador.

If you attended the 2020 Capital Region Gives Back event, co-sponsored by Capital Region Living and Saratoga Living magazines, you’ll surely remember honoree Kristen Garzone. One of 10 Capital Region superstars, Garzone represented Every Mother Counts (EMC), a national organization founded by supermodel/entrepreneur Christy Turlington Burns, whose mission is to secure all mothers quality, respectful and equitable maternity care.

Garzone has been a loyal ambassador to the nonprofit ever since dealing with Postpartum Depression (PPD) and losing a close friend to suicide because of it. In 2018, she launched her virtual Run to Believe to honor her friend’s memory and raise much-needed funds for EMC.

This year’s 4th annual run, which takes place on Saturday, May 8, is especially meaningful, because it will not only raise funds for EMC, but also Garzone’s newly created The Believe KNT Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to help raise awareness for mental health issues and make mental health care available for any and all mothers in the United States, regardless of class, race or access to health insurance. The “KNT” in the foundation’s name refers to Garzone’s late friend, Kristin Nicole Thorsen, who tragically lost her battle with PPD in June 2017. “This virtual run started in 2018 on Mother’s Day weekend—May 12th which would have been Kristin’s 31st birthday,” explains Garzone. “Maternal mental health issues, such as PPD, are a real issue that affects 1.3 million mothers in the US each year. These miles will not only celebrate Kristin’s beautiful life but will also help spread awareness for women to find the help they need with ease.”

All funds raised will be donated in Thorsen’s name and split evenly between the two organizations.

Interested runners have the option of pounding the pavement at a number of tiered distances, based on the amount of money they ultimately decide to donate. For example, you can run a 5K ($20), 10K ($25), half marathon ($30) or marathon ($35) and receive a medal for the feat you chose (there is also a slightly cheaper, non-medal-winning option). Additional donations can also be made at as low as $5 a pop.

Runners can register for or donate to the virtual race here (or via Facebook), and are being urged to post a photo with their virtual race bib on social media, using the hashtags #RunToBelieveKNT and #RunTeamEMC.

Over the past four years, the Run to Believe has raised nearly $14,000 for EMC.

Will Levith
Will Levith is the editorial director of Capital Region Living and Saratoga Living.

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