Sponsored by TogoRun
The month of March is Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day falls on March 8th. On this day and throughout the month, we celebrate women’s strength, progress and inspiration and recognize women’s contributions throughout history.
First responders—such as, firefighters, law enforcement, search and rescue, and paramedics—used to be a vocation primarily dominated by men. Within the last century, it was believed that women did not possess the physical or cognitive strength for these dangerous roles in society.
However, women today have begun to show interest in, and dominate, these once male-dominated fields like politics, business and science. Women today have stepped up to the challenge and proved themselves to have the tenacity, courage and strength necessary to succeed in whatever they set their minds to.
Today, many courageous women work alongside men as first responders, saving lives every day. They are supported by companies like Rx Response, a non-profit coalition founded by two daring and amazing women during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Rx Response works to ensure the delivery of medicine and medical supplies is not disrupted when disaster strikes.
In this way, RX Response echoes the great “Race for Mercy,” when in 1925 medical supplies were relayed 674 miles in Alaska, from Nenana to Nome. A diphtheria epidemic had broken out in Nome, particularly among the Alaskan children who had no prior exposure to the highly contagious illness— and no immunity against it. Without treatment, death by suffocation was imminent.
To bring life-saving antitoxin to Nome, a series of mushers and their sled dog relay teams traversed through hazardous terrain and epic weather conditions to save the rural village. One sled dog team, led by Leonhard Seppala and his lead husky dog Togo, traveled over the most treacherous stretch going over a fifty mile ice-covered area of the Norton Sound to deliver the life-saving serum. An undersized husky, Togo was one of the smallest dogs to lead a team and covered more than five times the terrain of other teams.
To commemorate the Race for Mercy, in 1973 the inaugural Iditarod Trail Race was launched, and continues to run each year during the month of March. The Iditarod is a 1,050 mile endurance race where the racers spend as much time pushing their dogs then they do being pulled. Men and women race the Iditarod as equals, competing toe-to-toe, and women are not strangers to the winner’s purse: Libby Riddles mushed through a blizzard to become the first woman victor in 1985; Susan Butcher won the next year and then three of the next four races. This year, 24 trailblazing women from the U.S., Canada and Europe will brave the extreme Alaskan wilderness.
Today, Rx Response has partnered with TogoRun, a New York-based health communications agency and PRWeek’s 2014 Global International Agency of the Year, which is named after Togo the lead dog. For the second year in a row, TogoRun is supporting International Women’s Day and all of the women of the Iditarod®. This year, TogoRun is sponsoring legendary musher, and cancer survivor DeeDee Jonrowe. DeeDee is one of the world’s foremost female mushers and a 10-time Iditarod® top-10 finisher for her embodiment of the spirit of courage and tenacity required of all entrants.
TogoRun and Rx Response recognize the spirit of the Race for Mercy and the legacy of Togo, and work to ensure the health and well-being of families and communities, and to share the courageous stories of the unsung women heroes in healthcare and wellness spaces.
Join us on International Women’s Day, March 8th, as we host a powerful Twitter chat from 1p – 3p EST with Iditarod musher DeeDee Jonrowe, TogoRun’s President Gloria Janata, and Rx Response Executive Director Emily Lord. We will engage participants in an interactive exchange of information and recognition of the great accomplishments women have made across a broad range of fields once dominated by men, including sports and emergency response. Be sure to join us as we celebrate TogoRun’s Women of the Iditarod and the achievements of women doing amazing things!
Follow and engage with us #TogoRunWomen and #FitFluential.