Katie Mertz, Esq.
“I ran my first half marathon because I didn’t know if I could. Now I run because I can. And by running, I can bring awareness and support to finding a cure for Meniere’s disease.”
– Katie Mertz, Esq., Founder of “run because”
Katie Mertz, Esq., serves on the AHRF Board, bringing a real-world perspective and remarkable energy and dedication to the Foundation’s mission. Passionate about finding a cure for Meniere’s disease, Mertz founded run because—an initiative to raise awareness and funds for scientific research into Meniere’s—after her mother was diagnosed with the progressively debilitating disorder. As Director of Pro Bono and Public Service at Marquette Law School, Mertz works with law school students to advance pro bono initiatives in the legal profession and increase public service for the betterment of the Milwaukee community. Previously, Mertz practiced real estate and business bankruptcy at Kerkman & Dunn in Milwaukee. Mertz earned her JD at Marquette Law School, where she was inducted into the Posner Pro Bono Society for her work with the Marquette Legal Initiative for Non-Profit Corporations and the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics, where she continued to be a regular volunteer at its House of Peace location. She earned her BA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mertz has run a half marathon in 19 states as part of her run because initiative, with the goal of running 51 half marathons—one in each state plus Washington, DC—to raise funds for Meniere’s research. In May 2014, AHRF entered into a fiscal sponsorship agreement with run because. AHRF now accepts online donations for Mertz’s participation in half marathons around the country, placing them into a restricted fund specifically for Meniere’s research.