run because

In May 2014, the Foundation entered into a fiscal sponsorship agreement with Katie Mertz for her program “run because,” which accepts online donations for her participation in marathons around the country.  All proceeds from the program are remitted to a restricted fund held by the American Hearing Research Foundation and used for the purpose of funding research related to Meniere’s disease.

Later in 2014, the Mrs. Mertz attorney and Assistant Director of Pro Bono and Public Service at Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, WI, was nominated and approved for a seat on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Katie’s run because Initiative Supports the American Hearing Research Foundation

Katie Mayer + Mom croppedKatie Mertz wasn’t a runner. “In fact, I didn’t like running. However, in the spring of 2013, I was inspired by a close friend who ran her first half marathon the weekend after the tragedy in Boston to raise money and awareness of the Parkinson’s Disease from which her mom suffered.  In September 2013, I completed my first half marathon and was surprised by my regret that it was over. During my training, my mom had begun to suffer from increasingly bad episodes of Meniere’s disease, which she had been diagnosed with 11 years earlier.  Previously, the episodes had been few and far between, but now her daily life was repeatedly impacted.  I saw the effects firsthand as she constantly feared the next episode. Not well known, Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that affects hearing and balance and causes vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.  It is unpredictable and difficult to diagnose and manage.  Meniere’s disease is also progressive. Unfortunately, the cause is currently unknown—so is a possible cure.  Currently, very few organizations are dedicated to funding research and raising awareness of Meniere’s disease. run because was created to keep me accountable to my goal of raising money for Meniere’s disease research by running 51 half marathons, one in each state plus DC by age 50. I ran my first half because I didn’t know if I could.  Now I run because I can.  And by running, I can bring awareness and support to finding a cure.”

Interested in supporting Katie and helping find a cure for Meniere’s disease?

Please visit

Keep up with Katie’s progress by visiting her Facebook page at

Katie completed race number ten on Halloween in New Orleans, LA.  A group of eight traveled to cheer Katie on.  The race raised $1,160 with $13,792 raised to date.  Katie anticipates another six races for 2016!

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