Perfect in imperfection

2015-05-05 06:00

ABOVE: Katrina Muller with her daughters, Charly (left) and Luca.

Larry Liu

ABOVE: Katrina Muller with her daughters, Charly (left) and Luca. PHOTO: Larry Liu

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Her name is Katrina Muller. She is 48 years old and she is Running for Luca.

Katrina lives in Heathfield with her husband Brent and daughters Luca (6) and Charly (3). Her son Ivo (28) lives in Gardens. Katrina is originally from Germany and has been living in South Africa since 2001 where she met her husband, Brent.

“I was always into sport, but never with my whole heart. And then Luca was born. Beautiful. With Downand#039;s Syndrome.

“So I have this pain in me since then, a kind of guilt that there was nothing I could have done or nothing I could do to take it away. But when I run, I run for her. It’s printed on my shirt and in my heart and that is what I can do for her,” Katrina says.

“That is why I started Running for Luca a year ago. It is to raise awareness for Downand#039;s Syndrome. When I come home with my medal, Luca knows Mommy ran for her and the medal is hers. Running sets me free in my heart, it takes the pain away, at least for a while . . .

“It’s about all our children with disabilities. I’m fighting for acceptance .Our children are beautiful and very much able to fit into society. They must be able to go to mainstream schools and study. I stand up for them to be included. All they need is a little extra help.”

According to her, communities need to be open about people with disabilities. “We as parents should not struggle to find a school where they can study, play and make friends. Our children are more alike than different.” .

Katrina says that the purpose of Running for Luca is to get this message out there so that more people get educated about disabilities, and then there will be more acceptance.

“The vision of Running for Luca is to give children and adults with disabilities a place where they can participate in sport together and with able bodied people. Running for Luca wants to help other initiatives to raise money or simple raise awareness,” she says.

According to Katrina people – especially within the runner community – have educated themselves and changed their attitude towards people with Downand#039;s Syndrome since she started Running For Luca. “And they are now the ambassadors for our children. Runners wearing Running For Luca shirts at events have been seen by so many people. After all, each and every single one of us is part of our community and we have to start to look out for each other.

“So my vision is simple: We are all human beings and we all have the human right of being loved and accepted for who we are, perfect in our imperfection.”

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