PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – More than 25,000 runners have registered for the Pittsburgh Marathon.

They could tell 25,000 different stories. But few, if any, could match that of a young woman from Ethiopia.

Shetaye Bekele’s journey is all the more remarkable when we realize how far she has come.

Three years ago, at the age of 16, she was taken into the slave trade.

Betrayed by someone she trusted, she found herself trapped as a sex slave in a shanty town brothel.

Shetaye became one of more than a million children around the world who lose their childhood to sex trafficking every year.

“Without knowing,” she says, “I just fell into a trap which took all my vision and hope. It was very hard to live there and to do what I don’t want to do. Because I have to survive, I have to do it. And I didn’t know if there is a way out.”

Then someone told her about an organization called International Crisis Aid. ICA has rescued hundreds of girls from sex traffickers.

“Then I check that where it is, and I went down there, and they rescued me. And now I continue with my race, and my hope, and my life.”

The young woman who ran to freedom is now an inspiration to others.

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