Woman aims to help troubled girls one step (and one marathon) at a time

Published: Nov. 28, 2016 at 9:21 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2016 at 1:10 AM EST
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SHEFFIELD, OH (WOIO) - Liz Ferro was a foster kid, and dealt with her own trauma. Now -- one step at a time -- she's trying to help girls who have been abused or haven't gotten the support they need to thrive.

"I started it because of my own life experiences of finding solace in fitness and sports," Ferro said.

Ferro was adopted, but when she was 8, she says a neighbor raped her, which sent her spiraling.

"I didn't get the support I needed," she said.

She acted out for a while, but soon realized it didn't get her anywhere. She wound up falling in love with sports and the positive energy she felt while working out.

"I don't want anyone to ever feel the way I did," Ferro said.

She started Girls with Sole, a nonprofit aimed at putting positive challenges in troubled girls' lives.

"Sometimes it's a slow evolution," she said. "(But) sometimes it just clicks, which is an amazing thing to see."

To raise money and awareness, Ferro recently completed marathons in all 50 states. Now, Ferro is on to her next challenge -- competing in a marathon along the Great Wall of China, which is symbolic of the walls the girls have up when she first meets them.

"That's the whole point, to challenge myself, to push myself and be afraid because that's what the girls are going through in Girls with Sole. If I expect them to do it, I better be able to do it, too," Ferro said.

If you want to learn more about Girls with Sole, you can go to their website.

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