Blind mother and daughter duo tackle running challenge, raising awareness for braille literacy

Terri and Marley Jane Rupp walk the trails of southwest Las Vegas as they compete in a walking and running challenge to raise awareness for braille literacy.
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 2:31 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - If you’ve been pounding the walking and running trails of the west valley recently, you may have noticed a special duo tracking hundreds of miles -- under the most inspiring of circumstances.

Mother and daughter Terri and Marley Jane Rupp may be blind, but that did not stop them from competing in a grueling four-week walking/running/biking challenge.

The challenge? In the span of just one month, track 26.2 miles and raise $262 dollars. It’s called the Braille Across America Challenge. It just wrapped up, and not only did the Las Vegans meet that goal, they exceeded it.

By a lot.

Terri tracked 365.2 miles. She came in second nationally.

“A lot of, getting miles in where I canm walking around the neighborhood, running with my running group Achilles Las Vegas, which is a group that runs with people with disabilities,” said Terri.

12-year-old Marley Jane tracked 120 miles. Each raised $350 dollars individually. Donations are still being accepted online.

“We’re raising funds for braille literacy. It costs three times as much to produce a braille book as it does a print book,” said Terri.

For this family, that cause is personal.

“National Braille Press is a Boston-based nonprofit that provides braille books and braille technographics, and curriculum, school materials for blind kids,” said Terri.

Marley Jane is in 6th grade at Clark County School District’s Tarkanian Middle School. Her brother and dad are sighted.

“Usually I’d have to have my brother point out the stuff and read the things for me. Also, in restaurants, whenever we go to places or little cafes or just go somewhere to eat, I have to ask my dad or someone to read the menu for me,” Marley Jane said.

This, she said, is something that makes her feel, “pretty annoyed,” in her words.

It is also among the motivations that helped to get them across that finish line.

They hope to spread awareness about the importance of braille.

“A child growing up who can’t see well enough to read print, can’t compete on a level playing field as all their sighted counterparts if they can’t read,” said Terri. “You can’t have a job or get by in the world if you don’t know how to read, and if you’re just listening to books you’re not gonna learn context through grammar or spelling, and so, we need braille.”

Click here if you are interested in donating to their cause.