Cara Gilmore isn't planning a big bash for her 40th birthday. Instead, she's raising money for the families of murder victims.
There have already been nearly 60 homicides in Kansas City so far this year, and that's not OK with Cara Gilmore. That's why she's using her milestone birthday to make a difference.
Gilmore is a Pilates instructor by day and a distance runner in her off time. She's also tired of all the violence.
"I'm a mom and thinking about these mothers who have lost their children, it breaks my heart. It should break everybody's heart," she said.
The Kansas City mother of two boys says it was hearing story after story of other mothers losing their children to gun violence that got her thinking about her upcoming birthday and what she could do to help.
"I'm kind of a distance runner anyway, and I thought I would maybe try to attach a little money to it -- raise some money," she said.
On Friday, Gilmore will run 40 miles. She plans to pound the pavement in 10-mile increments every couple of hours. For each of the 10 miles, Gilmore will pay tribute to a murder victim by wearing his or her photo on her back.
The victims are all the children of the women who volunteer at Kansas City Mothers In Charge, a group of women who help other families get through the unthinkable nightmare of losing a child to gun violence.
"My son, Darreon Murray, he was 17. He was killed March 7, 2009," Latrice Murray said.
Murray lost her son in a drive-by shooting nearly 10 years ago. She joined Mothers in Charge to help other people going through the same heartache she knows all too well.
She says she's touched by Gilmore's plan.
"I think it's amazing that someone gives up their 40th birthday- that's a big one - to raise money for our organization to come out and help us. I think it's amazing," Murray said.
The money raised will help pay for a community outreach coordinator for Mothers in Charge - something they desperately need to help continue the good work they do.
Gilmore says this is the first of many things she hopes to do for the group.
"I love thinking I'm going to make a difference," she said.
If you would like to help Gilmore meet her goal of $40,000, click here to donate. You are asked to put "Cara's 40th run" in the note section before donating.