On Dec. 5, 1999, Ruth Rhoden Craven took her own life - just two and half months after the birth of her first son. Postpartum depression destroyed a family and left a baby without a mother. Ruth’s family and friends turned their grief into action, creating the Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation for Postpartum Depression.
That foundation is now known as Postpartum Support Charleston, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating the stigma surrounding perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) to ensure all women who suffer receive support, and another family doesn’t have to go through what Ruth’s family did.
Postpartum Support Charleston is gearing up for the 15th annual Moms’ Run + Family Fun Day in May. This anniversary year will give special honor to Ruth and the many moms she’s saved as result of the work Postpartum Support Charleston does in the community. Race participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #Run4Ruth to show their support.
The 15th annual Moms’ Run will be 7-11 a.m. Saturday, May 12 at MUSC Health Stadium on Daniel Island. Registration is now open and details are available at www.ppdsupport.org. This event is Postpartum Support Charleston’s largest fundraiser with proceeds going toward support groups and resources for area moms, educational materials and programs as well as the the grant program that provides financial assistance to women who need help paying for treatment for PMADs.
Close to 20 percent of new moms will experience a mood disorder. That means more women will suffer from illnesses like postpartum depression, anxiety and OCD in one year than the combined number of new cases among men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lupus and epilepsy.
In 2017, Postpartum Support Charleston added two part-time staff and began expanding its support groups and resources for moms. Peer-led support groups and walks are available each week at locations all around the tri-county area. The nonprofit also offers one-on-one peer support, a private Facebook group and resources for dads who may be struggling with how to help the mom in their life.
“After 16 years as an all-volunteer organization, it is exciting for me to be working as a staff along with our development coordinator, Amber Allen, to increase awareness in the tri-county area,” said Elaine DeaKyne, executive director. “Every day we hear stories of women suffering, receiving poor treatment and feeling hopeless. We want women to know that we are here for them during the postpartum stage, but that we are also advocating for them when they are pregnant and asking medical providers and hospitals to talk to expecting families about this very common illness. To break the stigma, we have to have the conversation with expecting and new moms.”
The annual Moms’ Run -- Postpartum Support Charleston’s largest fundraiser -- is a 5K run/walk open to all ages followed by free events and activities for families. Participants and their families can arrive at 7 a.m. for pre-race Family Fun Day festivities. At 8 a.m., runners and walkers can join the 5K run/walk through Daniel Island and ending back at MUSC Health Stadium.
A Family Fun Day and awards ceremony will follow the race. Participants can enjoy music, food and plenty of children’s activities, including a jump castle, face painting, crafts and games. Family Fun Day is included in race registration.
Registration fees are $30 per adult; $35 for stroller registration (includes 1 adult & 1 child; $5 each additional child in the stroller); $20 for children 10 and under. Beginning April 27, prices go up to $35 per adult; $40 for stroller and $25 for children. A Support the Cause option at $25 is available for non-runners who want a T-shirt.
All runners are invited to create a race team and raise additional money for Postpartum Support Charleston. Teams of 10 or more will receive a $5 discount which will automatically applied when you reach 10 team members. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available; visit www.ppdsupport.org/events/momsrun2018/ for details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.