Wilson resident Rachel Pipes is one of many runners participating in Sunday’s Arbuckles 2 Ardmore Marathon.
Pipes will run the half marathon in honor of Cecil Davis Jr. from Bentonville, Ark.
“I run for him,” Pipes said. “Everyday I put on my facebook page that I ran x-amount of miles. Since he can’t do it, that’s why I do it — for him.”
C.J. and his sister Ciera have a rare genetic disorder that falls under the Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation. There are several types of CDGs based on which gene contains a mutation.
C.J. and Ciera are the first patients diagnosed with CDG involving the PIG-T gene.
The siblings have been accepted into a study at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., due to the rarity of the diagnosis.
They also suffer from Global Cerebral Atrophy, which causes the brain to shrink. Each sibling is fed through a g-button attached to their stomachs that also administers medicine.
Pipes got in touch with C.J. through www.whoirun4.com, and will be running her first half marathon with an added sense of importance in shedding light on the rare condition from which the siblings suffer.
“This is my first actual half marathon, so I’m excited,” Pipes said. “I didn’t start running until college. I ran to get into better shape. I have a heart problem, so my doctor told me it was the best thing for me to get out and exercise.”
This is the first time Pipes has entered the A2A, and she’s looking forward to the experience.
“Hopefully, it will go well. I know there are a lot of hills out there,” Pipes said.
The Wilson native attends North Central College in Gainesville and plans to transfer to Texas A&M to study radiology.
Pipes usually runs in three races a month with her mother, and recently started a Bible study group at First Baptist Church in Wilson called Run for God.
“We do our Bible study first; it’s about a 30-minute Bible study,” Pipes said. “Then we go out and run for about 30 minutes.”
Pipes saw another Run for God group on social media and was inspired to start a similar group at her church.
“I really felt like God was calling me to get out there and teach something I was passionate about and teach others more about Him,” Pipes said. “It worked out well. It’s kids and adults, and there are about 20 of us.”
The Run for God group is open to new members and registration for Sunday’s A2A Marathon is ongoing online at www.a2amarathon.com.