Laura King Edwards is a lifelong writer, published author, content marketing expert, TEDx speaker, accomplished runner and passionate rare disease advocate.
Laura’s younger sister was diagnosed with a rare, fatal brain disorder called Batten disease (CLN1) in 2006. Refusing to accept the status quo, Laura became a passionate advocate, co-founding a nonprofit organization, Taylor’s Tale, at age 24.
Taylor’s Tale became a top supporter of CLN1 research and today is known worldwide for its contributions to science, awareness and advocacy. Taylor passed away in 2018, but Laura and others continue to honor her legacy by fighting on behalf of the estimated one in 10 Americans with a rare disease.
Laura’s journey, and her sister’s, inspired the memoir “Run to the Light,” published in November 2018. Laura’s other published work includes stories in Oracle Fine Arts Review and many magazines and websites as well as 12 stories in two editions of Novant Health’s “One Patient at a Time.”
When she is not writing, running or fighting for the millions living with a rare disease, Laura is likely exploring trails in a national park or spending time with her family.
She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a bachelor of arts in English and a minor in creative writing.
Awards and Recognition
- Woman of the Year, Charlotte’s 50 Most Influential Women Awards, 2019
- Employee of the Year, Wray Ward, 2018
- TEDxCharlotte speaker, 2017
- Global Genes Rare Champion of Hope Nominee, 2017
- Ink and Insights Nonfiction Contest winner, 2016
- The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville 25th annual Memoirs Contest winner, 2016
- The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville Hard Times Contest winner, 2016
- Tortoise and Finch Productions “On Courage” Nonfiction Contest winner, 2016
- Charlotte Writers’ Club nonfiction writing contest winner, 2015
- Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society (CHPRMS) “Wallie” Awards for feature writing (multiple), 2007-12
- William H. Hooks Award for Creative Writing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003
A lifelong soccer player and athlete, Laura began running in her sister’s honor when Taylor completed two 5K races after going blind. Laura ran Charlotte’s Thunder Road Half Marathon blindfolded in 2013, finishing in less than two hours; in 2014 she finished the race in 1:44, her personal record for a half marathon, which she got while running the last 1.25 miles blindfolded but not tethered to a guide.
In 2018, Laura ran the Charlotte Half Marathon blindfolded in two hours, just six weeks after giving birth to her son. She is almost halfway to her goal of completing a race in all 50 states to support Taylor’s Tale.
Laura frequently earns top-three finishes in her division at smaller races, but she will always get more recognition for stunts like running half marathons blindfolded and walking 5Ks with a broken foot, rather than her slightly-above-average speed.
Her runs for Taylor earned coverage in Runner’s World in 2014 and 2018. She gave the keynote at Hawaii’s Kauai Marathon VIP dinner in 2015.