MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman turned her marathon run into a way to help others.

Loud cheers greeted Karen Ryan as she ran the home stretch of a marathon Saturday, logging 26.2 miles from her home in Chanhassen to GiGi’s Playhouse in St. Louis Park.

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Gigi’s is a nonprofit that offers support to people with Down syndrome and their families through free educational and skill building programs.

Gigi’s is close to Ryan’s heart. She’s a founding mom of the organization in the Twin Cities and her daughter, Violet, uses its services.

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“I believe that just because somebody’s born with an extra chromosome, with Down syndrome, that it shouldn’t limit their ability to do things that typical people enjoy, such as sport, social opportunities, all of those things,” Karen Ryan said. “That’s what we provide at Gigi’s Playhouse, the opportunity for them to excel and to enjoy life.”

Ryan’s goal was to raise $10,000 for GiGis Playhouse between herself and a team of runners, but they passed that, raising more than $11,000.

Also, this was Ryan’s 28th marathon.

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