Inma Zanoguera headed to the Sahara Desert to run for refugees and family

Inma Zanoguera is currently a graduate student at the University of Toledo, seeking her master's in English as a second language (WNWO).

Inma Zanoguera's first marathon is going to be about much more than running. While learning about the Sahara Marathon, she is learning about herself, as well.

Three years ago at this time, she made an impact on the hardwood, as one of the Toledo Rockets' best players.

This Friday, Zanoguera is taking the trip of a lifetime.

She will be running in the Sahara Marathon, with one main goal, to help 100,000 Sahrawi refugees in the Western Sahara. What she didn't know, was that her biological mother was a Sahrawi.

"That's where my biological family came from, and that is information that I hadn't known for a bigger part of my life. So when I found all of this out, it just kind of felt like a natural step for me to have to go there and learn more."

During her trip, she will visit three camps and actually live with a refugee family.

"I just can't wait to actually go on the trip and see the camps, and learn, and see what else I can do."

The story has inspired Zanoguera. So much so, that a documentary is being made on her journey.

Canadian filmmaker Michelle-Andrea Girouard is traveling to Africa with her.

"Her personality, the story, and the beauty of just humanity in general will come out in the documentary because, one, of the story, and two because of how powerful Inma's personality and aura is."

Having been adopted in Spain at three years old, she has lived a privileged life.

Things could have been different. Her mother could've been a refugee, which would have changed her life forever.

"In a way, I think I'm trying to make up for the fact that they had to go through so much, and I've had it so easy."

Inma and Michelle-Andrea have raised more than $5,000 for the trip and the documentary, "Running Home." They plan on donating 20% to the Sahrawi refugees. If you would like to donate, visit their Indiegogo page, here.

Both Zanoguera and Girouard contributed video and pictures to this story for NBC 24.

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