Roma van der Walt and her husband made the abrupt decision to leave NY on March 17, 2020 with their son Max in tow. They had 25 hours to pack up their belongings and to say their good-byes to friends.
12 hours after touching down in Sydney, Australia locked their borders and went into serious lockdown.
Covid 19 accelerated a move that Roma and her husband had been entertaining for a while. The uncertainty of job, visa and healthcare helped made up their minds quicker than they’d planned.
I met Roma through the charity EveryMotherCounts which we support with every bag purchase.
Roma was EMC’s running coach. EMC is dedicated to preventing maternal mortality worldwide and
a big part of the donations comes from their running programs, which are inspired by the average distance a pregnant woman in the developing word has to walk to get medical help. That distance is almost equal to a marathon.
Roma helped me to get ready for the 2017 Berlin marathon. Our EMC running team managed to raise more than $110,000.
Leaving NY was hard for Roma, who considers herself a New Yorker, but NY’s loss is Sydney’s gain. How lucky are they to have such an amazing trainer and coach! Now when I see photos of Roma smiling and pregnant on Bondi beach, I am in awe of life’s twists and turns.