DENVER — A group of women who have dedicated their careers to helping veterans is running the Colfax Marathon as a relay team.
“There’s that whole idea that you go further together, and that’s been true for us,” says Kim Wanous, a clinical social worker at the Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program, which is run by the VA.
“We are a residential treatment program for veterans with PTSD,” explains Mandy Rabenhorst, a psychologist and assistant program manager. “We have this cool opportunity every day in our work to watch people get better and to watch people recover. To hear them talk about some of the most horrific things humans can go through, and to watch them be brilliantly resilient from those experiences.”
“We really help people, and that is such a cool feeling,” adds Wanous. “Working with veterans with PTSD, it’s a population that needs our support and needs our help. For me personally, it feels like a way I’m giving back, I’m doing my own patriotic duty that I’m actually helping people in a really real way.”
At their day jobs, they team up to help others. Now, they’ve decided to work toward another goal together by running the Colfax Marathon as a relay team.
“It has required me to set aside time for myself, which is a challenge,” says Rabenhorst. “I have three kiddos, and to make time for me has been tough to do. We teach the veterans that in order for them to take care of other people, they have to take care of themselves. So, it’s a chance to put into practice something I really believe in.”
As challenging as the training has been or the race may be, the women know they can make it to the finish line together.
“We lean on each other constantly,” says Wanous. “I don’t know if any of us could do this work long-term without having each other’s support. Whether that’s doing some self care, going for a run, processing our days, we really feel like that social support and team effort is such a big part of our job.”