Local woman logs miles to help provide clean water for children in Africa – Kern Golden Empire

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – She’s proving age is nothing but a number, especially when it comes to helping others. 

At 73 years old, Susan Raye Wiggins in defying the odds make a difference for women and children around the world. 

Her belief, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

There’s a good chance you already know her. 

Wiggins once toured and sang with country music legend Buck Owens, but today Wiggins is on a new path. 

“Every child deserves to have clean water and every mother deserves to know that she can get that for her child,” said Susan Raye Wiggins. 

Wiggins is strapping on her running shoes and raising money for children in Africa who do not have access to clean water. 

“These women and girls have to walk 6, 8, 10 miles to get water that’s dirty and can lead to diseases and death,” Wiggins said. 

Three years ago at the age of 68 Wiggins set out to make clean water for women and children in Africa a reality. 

She started participating  in the L.A. Marathon with Team World Vision. 

“I just think that’s what we’re here for.  We help each other.  That’s the blessing in life,” Wiggins said. 

But then she injured her knee and had to have a complete knee replacement. 

“I think the doctor told me I’d never run again, but I don’t quite buy that,” Wiggins said. 

Determined to continue her mission with Team World Vision, she did, but two years later she hit another speed bump. 

Wiggins was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I just trusted that God would take care of it.  I would be fine,” Wiggins said.  

Wiggins said God did and a few months ago she found out she is cancer free. 

So she pulled back on her running shoes.

“It wasn’t easy coming back.  At 72 you shouldn’t stop, let’s just put it that way,” Wiggins laughed. 

Determined as ever she kept going. 

“It is what it is, you know?  I’m 72.  I don’t run fast but I run slow and walk fast and it kind of gets the job done,” Wiggins said. 

This past weekend she once again participated in the L.A. Marathon and she has no plans to stop. 

“When your children are grown, if God gives you extra time, then find something you love and do it.  I don’t care how long I live but I’d like to feel like I’m living as long as I live,” Wiggins said.

If you’d like to help Wiggins raise money to provide clean water for children in Africa, click here.  

Once you are redirected to the website click “Give To Your Friend” then search “Susan Wiggins”.




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