MEDFORD, Ore. — Nine-year-old Michael Maiorano and his mom spend their Saturday mornings together running.
“I get exercise and I get to run with my mom and I just really enjoy it,” said Michael.
His mother, Heather Maiorano, is a Portland native who recently moved her family back to Medford from Kansas. Their training isn’t just for fun, Michael and Heather are serious about the Cascade Half Marathon. This will be the fourth year that Heather will run for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
“We wanted to find a half marathon that was in January that sort of expressed solidarity with the earthquake anniversary. When the earthquake hit, I had a friend that had lived in Haiti and had visited Haiti many times, she introduced me to Heartline Ministries, and we were reading their blog, and we read about Rebecca,” Heather explained.
In the disaster following the earthquake, 15-year-old Rebecca had been assaulted and was pregnant when she went to Heartline Ministries for help.
“She came to them saying, can I please go to school, and they said you take care of your baby for a full year, and then when he’s a year old come back. And almost to the day she came back with a really healthy baby boy. And they just posted an update with her with flying colors at school, and a very responsible, beautiful, young teen, mom really” said Heather.
Michael and Heather will run the Cascade Half Marathon in Salem on January 19th, as a team, to give Rebecca the support she needs to continue in school.
When asked if Rebecca will ever know about their efforts, Heather said, “Someday I dream of going to Haiti, and who knows what would happen but, at this point we’re just happy to help her get to school.”