I'm running the Grand Canyon Marathon on November 12, 2011 to support Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center. Read on to learn more...

I'm Nicole Klemas, an NJ native and medical writer by profession. When I'm not at my desk, some of the things I enjoy most are long-distance running and working with horses, the latter of which I get to do as a volunteer equine handler at Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center.

I run at least one marathon annually, and this year I'll be heading to the Grand Canyon to race 26.2 miles at more than 7,000 feet of altitude. A challenge to be sure, but I've decided to add one more facet to that feat: using the race as a way to raise funds for Special Strides.

Special Strides is a non-profit organization located in Monroe, NJ dedicated to improving the lives of children with physical and developmental disabilities. At Special Strides a horse becomes a therapeutic companion for a child with special needs, providing a unique platform for care from a team of specialists. Therapy provided on horseback can improve a child’s muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination, and self confidence in very powerful ways.

For the children at Special Strides and their families, every day can be a struggle. Having a child with special needs often places a financial burden on the family. Too often, therapy is not covered by insurance. Therefore, it is the goal of Special Strides to help provide all children the opportunity to experience the magic of therapeutic riding, regardless of their parents' financial status. Your donation will directly benefit the Steven Werthan Memorial Fund, which provides financial assistance to the families at Special Strides whose children would not otherwise be able to attend the program to receive therapy. Donations do NOT go toward my travel or race expenses.

26.2 miles doesn't seem too tough compared to what many of the students at Special Strides will face throughout their lives. So thank you for taking the time to visit my fundraising page, and for your generosity in making a donation to this incredible program!

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    118 Federal Rd
    Monroe, NJ 08831
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