Ardmore woman organizes 5k for friends in need

Tammy Douglas was in a bind.

The Mercy Hospital employee, caring and generous by nature, was searching for a way to help her former coworker Derek Smith and his wife Raigan.

"I, financially, can't give them what they need," Douglas said. "But by doing something where I involved other people, perhaps we could get some help."

The couple, who had struggled for years with fertility, had finally welcomed a child into their home when they adopted a daughter, Londyn. However, the new child was plagued by intestinal issues and spent the first six months of her life in neonatal care.

The Smiths, undeterred, decided to adopt once again, before Raigan received the miraculous news that not only was she pregnant, but that she would soon be welcoming twins. But bad fortune, it seemed, was never far away.

Born Camden and Berklee, the fraternal twins had their own set of health issues, ones so severe that the couple was forced to relocate the children at two separate neonatal facilities, one in Lewisville and the other in Dallas.

"They've literally constantly rotated between (Ardmore), Dallas and Lewisville," Douglas said.

Douglas wanted to help, knew she had to help. Besides being friends with the Smiths, Douglas herself had gone through struggles with fertility before reaching to adoption herself.

"They're my friends, and they were an inspiration to me," Douglas said. Their faith in God has never once waivered, even with the bad news they've gotten. Their complete and utter faith was an inspiration to me."

With nights of prayer asking for assistance, Douglas finally received it on a drive home, when a verse of scripture, broadcast on the radio, gave her the guidance she had been looking for.

"It said, 'I don't want to say another empty prayer, I refuse to sit around and wait for what God has told me to do myself,'" Douglas said. "It was just one of those things where God nudged you, put in the right direction."

So Douglas got on the phone, to friends, associates and businesses across Ardmore. Because of her efforts, this Saturday will mark the running of the Double The Fun Run, a combination of a 5K run and a 1-mile fun run, with all racer fees directly going to the Smith family.
The 100-percent financial aid is due entirely to race sponsorships, which contributed over $6,000 — a $2,000 profit over the expenses of the race.

"Everything has been covered," Douglas said. "People who enter this race can do so knowing that their money is going to help these children."

The race will be held Saturday on Campus Drive behind Ardmore's Noble Stadium. The 5K will follow a certified course, sanctioned by the proper state bodies of Oklahoma.

Registration for the 5K costs $25 until today if you register with <> , and $15 for the fun run if done on the same website.

Same-day registration will cost $30 for the 5K and $20 for the fun run. Race-day registration will open at 6 a.m. Saturday, with the starting gun set to go off at 9 a.m.

Spencer White