EVENTS Social SOCIAL & HEALTH SPORTS

Carmen Iohannis runs fundraising half marathon to support premature babies, President cheers on wife

President Klaus Iohannis and his wife Carmen this Saturday conveyed a message of support for sport and good health, as Romania’s first lady joined hundreds of locals in the Sibiu fundraising half marathon intended to support premature babies through the acquisition of a new breathing device for the Neonatology Department of the Sibiu County Emergency Hospital, the city’s largest public health care facility.

Carmen Iohannis, who is at her first such attempt, ran the over 5 km team relay with Anton and Cristina, her students from the “Gheorghe Lazar” Sibiu highschool where she is an English teacher.

Carmen Iohannis does not shy away from sport, as for instance she plays tennis three times a week at a private club.

“I was anxious not to disappoint. But it gives me great pleasure, I feel good, the more so as today we ran for a special cause, for the Sibiu Neonatology Department, for our babies who we hope to have a normal life, and we’d do anything for their smiles, their caresses and hugs,” Carmen Iohannis said at the end of the race. She also confessed having trained for over two months for this event.

At the end, she sat for photos with her team and with the students of the “Gheorghe Lazar” Highschool. Apart from Anton and Cristina, the students who ran the Sibiu relay race with the President’s wife, the entire 31-strong class was there as racers, supporters and volunteers.

President Klaus Iohannis was also present to encourage on his wife and the entire event, arriving and leaving the venue on bike.

Doctor Livia Ognean, founder of the BabyCare Association whose mission is to help raise funds for the Neonatology Department of the Sibiu County Emergency Hospital, also ran the half marathon. At the end she said that “this year’s race was extraordinary, with 645 racers – children and adults – and almost 1,000 supporters. We are grateful to all for their support and trust. A huge thank you to everybody, we’ve once again shown that we love our children and that together we can do a lot of good things.”

The Sibiu half-marathon is considered the most important fundraiser of its kind in the county and counts to Romania’s most important such events. Donations so far amount to 300,000 lei, said the organizers.

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