Tricia Quartey-Sagaille is a Brooklyn-based dentist, mom, business owner, and community advocate who will soon add NYC marathon runner to her many impressive titles.
On Sunday, November 5, Quartey-Sagaille will run the TCS New York City Marathon for the first time to promote Black maternal health, a cause she’s deeply connected to due to her struggles with conceiving a child and her challenges.
During her family planning journey, the 42-year-old discovered she had fibroids, a condition that disproportionately affects Black women. These growths in the uterus can lead to health complications, affect pregnancy and conception, and may require invasive treatments like hysterectomy or surgery. Tricia underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments to overcome these challenges. Eventually, she had a successful pregnancy, though she grappled with fears of childbirth due to the heightened risk Black women face in pregnancy-related issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.
“I was petrified to give birth because I knew [nothing about me would] matter. Not my job or socioeconomic status. I talked to other lBack women. I know personally, people whose wives have passed while giving birth and postpartum,” Quartey-Sagaille tells ESSENCE. “I didn’t know if I wanted to have a child because I would rather be alive,” she shares.
Her personal experiences and the statistics around Black maternal health led her to advocate for awareness and support in this area. She aims to shed light on the disparities in maternal health, regardless of one’s socioeconomic status or profession.
After making several attempts to run the marathon since 2014, Quartey-Sagaille says her reason for running this race is deeply personal. “When people ask why am I running… I’m running because I’m alive,” she says, holding back tears during the interview ahead of the big marathon day.
This inspiring mom began preparing for the marathon after giving birth to her “miracle” son via C-section last year while adjusting to changes in her body and breastfeeding her baby. This year, she is a member of the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Team Inspire, a group of 26 runners participating in the marathon with compelling motivations.
When she is not running to train for a race, Quartey-Sagaille runs her own dental practice, Noble Dental Care, in Brooklyn and is a public health advocate focused on health education and prevention.
When asked what she’s most looking forward to as she completes the marathon, this inspiring runner says she can’t wait to see her mother, husband, and baby boy Kendrick as she crosses the finish line.
“Anybody can do this….you know, you’re not racing all these people. It’s something that you’re doing for yourself,” she says.