Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ardrey Kell students run for those who can't

There are all kinds of worthy causes to support during the holiday season (and year-round). This is just one:

Run For Your Life owner Tim Rhodes told me recently about Ardrey Kell High School senior Nick Kapur, who has organized a fundraiser for an 11-year-old boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Kapur will run the Amica Insurance Half Marathon (part of the Thunder Road Marathon) on Dec. 11 along with other members of the school's cross country teams, in an effort to raise awareness of the genetic disorder. Some members of the Ardrey Kell boys and girls cross country teams will run the Presbyterian Hospital Jingle Jog 5K. The fundraising component of the project was created by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those living with DMD.

Kapur, one of the team's captains, proposed this idea to his coaches and his teammates after volunteering this summer at the Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp.

“Being a camp counselor allowed me to feel what it is like for children living with DMD," Kapur says, "and I wanted to continue my friendship and help my ‘buddy,’ Dakota, even after camp ended.” (Last year, Ardrey Kell coach Brian Zelk had suggested the team be involved with helping children who are less fortunate than them.)

Dakota, who is 11, plans to attend the race with his family. His sister, Destiny, 10, joined Girls on the Run this year at Carr Elementary School in Gaston County and will run the 5K with the team.

“In meeting with Dakota and his family several times since camp ended, I have learned that they are in desperate need of a wheelchair lift for their van," Kapur says. "Dakota can no longer assist with transfers, and Dakota uses a power wheelchair for mobility, so they need to adapt the van. I am hoping that through the publicity from the race, we can find a charitable organization to cover or help with the cost of converting their van.”

There are 44 Ardrey Kell runners registered for the half marathon and 5K; Rhodes of Run For Your Life helped out by giving the team a discount to register. They will run under the team name "Run for Our Sons," with a goal of raising $5,000 through donation pages and by soliciting local businesses.

By raising money for research, they are hopeful that their team will help make a difference and that one day these boys will be able to enjoy running with their friends again, like they do.

To support the cause and make a donation, click here.


Cait said...

I am running the 5K with my neice for Girls on the Run! My 2nd time running this race and I love it!

Pathmaker said...

Thank you Nick Kapur! Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) has been enourmously helpful to our family as we manage our son's Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. PPMD is engaging in research that gives us hope and they provided us vital information to make our son's life easier ...he remains abulatory at age 14. We ran 4 Walt Disney World half-marathons to raise funds for PPMD. We are delighted to see your efforts closer to home.