DENVER- Two local respiratory therapists who help sick children breathe every day are now focusing on helping children nationwide.
Justin Misuraca took on the task of training for the upcoming ING New York City Marathon because of his friendship with his co-worker, Raquel Leon Bouknight.
Bouknight's sister in Arizona started up the "Run Baby Run" marathon team, representing the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
"I could not imagine losing one of my kids to an abduction," Misuraca said. "For those who have been abducted and the families involved, I will run."
Misuraca has heard in detail what that horror is like from his friend of 10 years.
In 1983, Raquel's brother David Leon was abducted by a man in Tucson. He was only 10 years old. He was sexually abused for several hours and then let go. For more than 20 years after that trauma, Leon suffered. In 2002, he testified at his abductor's trial. That man was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
On June 16, 2004, David Leon died when a train hit him.
• "After David's abduction, he was never able to live again," Bouknight said. "Some victims of abduction and sexual assault have been able to. Unfortunately, my brother was never able to live again. So, we run in honor of David and for all children who are currently missing."
Bouknight was all set to run in David's honor in 2012, but the marathon was cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy. Instead, she ran the Tucson Marathon in December 2012 with her sister Michelle, the founder of "Run Baby Run." On Nov. 3, Bouknight will not be running. She is choosing to cheer on Miscura and the rest of the "Run Baby Run" team at the finish line.
In years past, the marathon has raised money for charity with only a few thousand runners fundraising. This year will be different.
The ING New York City Marathon is setting a fundraising goal of raising over $1 million per mile. Every single runner is encouraged to raise money for a charity close to their heart.
To find out more about the "Run Baby Run" team representing the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 3, visit: http://bit.ly/1bMGwY6.
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