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Ramsey Keller run celebrates 10 years of helping families

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Posted at 8:49 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 22:49:21-04

Ramsey Keller died shortly after she was born in 2011.

For 10 years, her family has held a running event, honoring her and raising money for funeral expenses for other families who also experience the loss of a baby.

After a virtual run last year, the Ramsey Keller Memorial Run for Heaven's Sake came back on Sunday.

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The event includes a 5k, 10k, and the Josh Tyree Half Marathon.

Nearly 40 of the 1,000 runners chose the half marathon.

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KTVQ photo

"Our son was born in 2011, and then passed away right before his second birthday," said Wendy Tyree. "He had a disease called Menkes disease. And so in 2013, my sister- in-law decided she wanted to do something to tribute our son. And so she ran 13 half marathons in 2013. And so her brother Courtney, my husband, said, well why don't I do that as well. So, the half marathon distance kind of became our, our tribute distance to our son."

The half marathon has been part of the Ramsey Keller Memorial for nine of its 10 years.

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KTVQ photo

"I have goosebumps," said Kori Keller, Ramsey Keller Memorial executive director. "I get such an incredible feeling to know that for 10 years, for a whole decade, we've been able to help these families in Montana. It's something special for sure.

The racecourse goes under the tunnel at Shiloh Road then back to Rimrock Park West. The Ramsey Keller Memorial draws all kinds of support, including from people who have been helped and want to keep helping others.

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KTVQ photo

"I'm here to sign books, just for the Ramsey Keller Memorial," said Charla Bunker, who wrote "Philly, Isaac and Gus Swinefeld, Montana's Three Little Pigs." "Six years ago when my grandson Yukon was stillborn, it was such a shock. And there were so many amazing people that stepped forward at that time. Ramsey Keller Memorial was one of them. That just fills your heart with space that you thought you didn't have."

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While Bunker wrote the book, her daughter also had input.

"They're great people to bounce ideas off," said Tavie Hitchcock, Bunker's daughter and Yukon's mother. "They're there to talk. They're there to support uplift in and prayer, like anything, you would need support wise emotionally."

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KTVQ photo

"People who catch your vision who believe in your cause enough to put their time and energy into it, is completely overwhelming," Keller said. "Very humbling when someone says, I believe what you're doing and I'm going to support it."

Keller said many families form a team and wear t-shirts with their baby's name, as a way of honoring and remembering.