On 25 September 2015, just nine days after celebrating her first birthday, Karen and Amit lost their daughter Riley suddenly and unexpectedly to SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Children). SUDC affects only 1.4 in 100 000 children over the age of one.
Riley was a happy, healthy little girl, and while Karen and Amit were left devastated by her sudden death, they recognised that during her brief time, Riley never knew a day of hardship. They were fortunate enough to give her everything a little girl could possibly wish for.
After she passed away, they promised their little Riley-Wiley-Puddin-and-Pie that they would make the world a better place in her memory, and established ‘Running for Riley’ - a fund through which they could raise funds to support children’s charities, both in Namibia and South Africa.
Running for Riley is not only a story about loss and survival. It is not about running away. It is about running through the pain and tiredness, hopelessness and despair. It’s about putting one foot in front of another until you reach the finish line.
Riley was just four months old when Karen joined the Windhoek-based running club ‘Mothers Runners’; the club consists of 35 members who partake in different events both in Namibia and Internationally.
Since Riley’s passing, they’ve been running on behalf of Running for Riley and raising funds for Hope Village Namibia, an orphanage housing 90 children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Karen; Riley’s mommy, still belongs to this running group. In July 2018, as part of a main fundraising event for the Running for Riley Foundation, the group plans to run a relay distance of 372km from Windhoek to Swakopmund.
Please support this amazing event!
hope village namibia
The story of Riley will always aspire to improve the lives of children. Keeping to the promise Amit and Karen made to their daughter, all funds collected through the Run for Riley initiative will go directly towards helping Hope Village Namibia.
Hope Village gives loving, caring homes for abandoned and orphaned, vulnerable children infected and/or affected with HIV/AIDS. Find out more about their work here
In 2016, Karen ran the Comrades to raise funds for the Starfish foundation in South Africa, which also supports children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Along with this, the runners of the ‘Mothers Runners’ club continue to run and fundraise on behalf of Running for Riley and Hope Village Namibia, while everyone involved has continued to raise awareness of SUDC. The club also wears ‘Running for Riley’ shirts when they participate in events.
One amazing achievement came from a runner who ran a marathon during 2017 in support of Hope Village and raised N$11 000 for the orphanage!
get in touch with us
To follow our project as well as the upcoming Windhoek to Swakopmund relay in little Riley`s honour, visit Karen`s blog at Running for Riley
We are on Facebook! Stay up to date here
Not much is known about SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Children) syndrome - stay informed on how you can be part of a growing global awareness movement: https://sudc.org/
One of the runners, Alison Fourie, recently had an interview on 99fm radio: Why we run for Riley Wiley