As lots of you know, awhile back, I made a personal promise to Kate, my cousin’s baby who was born with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called Myotonic Dystrophy. When Kate was first born, her parents, my cousin David and his wife, Elizabeth, learned she had this rare genetic disorder. Soon thereafter, I was entrusted to watch over Kate during a family get together. I sat there with her overlooking a beautiful lake in the mountains, and we connected. I could see the strength in her eyes. I knew she would fight to beat this tough illness just as I knew I would do all I could to fight for her.
Not long after that, David and Elizabeth started Promise to Kate –a Foundation that funds research on Myotonic Dystrophy and other muscular disorders like Muscular Dystrophy. So, my family and I started running to raise money for the Foundation. This will be the 7th year we will undertake what I like to call “Renee’s Ridiculously Long Runs for Promise to Kate” but we’re doing it a little differently this year and giving others a chance to join us in more ways than just donating funds.
For me, running has been a simple way I could keep my personal promise to Kate. What I didn’t expect is how it helped me find strength I didn’t know I had. I’ve run 4 Half Marathons, 6 10Ks, done a very small triathlon (never again!!) and run countless 5Ks. Unfortunately, I started running later in life than most people, and my joints don’t love the long distances so much. I’m continuing to run but will only be doing 5Ks or the very rare 10K from now on. This year, I’ll be running the Key West 5K in January and the Hot Chocolate 5K with Sam in Atlanta in February, and, hopefully, I’ll conquer the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in April in Charleston…just slower than ever before.
With this change, I thought it would be fun to expand my annual fundraiser to include others. You can participate in a couple ways. (1) Watch me run via my social media posts and support those runs with a donation using the link below, or (2) Get out there yourself! Pick a 5K, a walk, any athletic event, really, and sign up using the link below to become a fundraiser. Then, set a small financial goal, write an email to your network and ask them to support you. You’ll get fit, have fun, raise money for a good cause and get sent some swag from me as a bonus. You can join me at any of my runs or pick your own in your home town. And, honestly, a fundraising goal of just $200 per person will go a long way if even 10 of you join in.
Funds donated to Promise to Kate go toward:
- Supporting invaluable DM research with leading experts, Drs. Eric Wang and Andy Berglund at the University of Florida
- Maintaining an endowment at Wolfson Children’s Hospital that provides advanced training and non-standard continuing education for medical personnel to improve the quality and level of care
- Providing the opportunity for DM families to attend the annual Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation conference through a financial assistance program.
You can make a donation or become a fundraiser by going to this link: https://goo.gl/tBLGF1 Every donation will make a world of difference for those suffering from Myotonic Dystrophy like our sweet Kate. As always, thank you for your support!