In 2019, I crossed off a major bucket list item when I completed Disney World's Dopey Challenge, a full 48.6 miles in 4 days.
For the Dopey Challenge in 2022 and 2023, I partnered with the A-T Children's Project to raise money throughout both years as I prepared for the upcoming races.
But in January 2024, I'm headed to the West Coast for the Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland's challenge they brought forth when they announced their first running event since 2017. And, yes, I'll be partnering with the A-T Children's Project, again.
I’m racing to complete the Coast to Coast Challenge, which includes a specific distance on each coast, in both Disneyland and Disney World; and I’ll, of course, be repping the A-T Children’s Project in both locations. Why? Because every time the A-T CureTeam shows up, we are shouting that we need TREATMENTS and a CURE for A-T!
When you click the “Donate Now” button, you’ll be supporting the A-T Children’s Project in honor of A-T Warriors of every age, as well as supporting in honor of those who fought valiantly but whose personal races and battles have ended. We’re here, racing and fighting to find treatments, and ultimately, a cure for A-T.
Not sure what A-T is? Read on!
❗What is A-T?❗
A-T, short for ataxia-telangiectasia, is something you may have never even heard of! Picture, if you will, a disease that borrows the worst symptoms from muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, immune deficiencies, cerebral palsy, and cancer and puts it all together to form a mega condition called A-T, a disease that puts most affected children in a wheelchair by age 10 and, though it's becoming somewhat more common for A-T Warriors to live a bit longer, still doesn't allow many to see their 20th birthdays.
Since ataxia-telangiectasia is a multi-system disease, scientists also believe that in searching for a cure for A-T, they will learn valuable information in the fight against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, AIDs, cancer, and more. So, when you're supporting A-T research, you're actually supporting a myriad of medical and research endeavors!
❗Who is the A-T Children's Project?❗
The A-T Children's Project (A-TCP) is a nonprofit that partners with academic and industry investigators worldwide to organize and support innovative research, conferences, and clinical teams that work with data platforms and biomarkers to optimize disease management strategies, develop new treatments, and find a cure.
The A-T CureTeam is the fundraising chapter of the A-TCP, and when you donate, everything goes directly to the A-T Children's Project to help in their mission to find treatments and a cure for this genetic disease that causes a loss of muscle control & balance, cancer, lung disease, and immune system problems in children and young adults, ultimately shortening their lives. However, unlike many other fundraising and charitable organizations, the A-TCP has found ways to put the funds donated to use without spending it on building fancy labs or hiring, out-of-pocket, well renowned scientists, but rest assured that just because they aren't reinventing the wheel doesn't mean that some of the most brilliant minds aren't researching to find treatments, hope, a cure. If you'd like more information about this cause, please visit atcp.org or ask my wife, Alyssa, or me your questions: we could talk about this all day!
❗Why the A-T Children's Project & Team Jared Digby?❗
I first discovered the A-T Children's Project while searching for a charity to support during my second Dopey Challenge attempt, and subsequent completion, in 2022. I was initially drawn to them because, though this disease is horrific, there is far too little known and no real treatment options. I wanted to do something to help, something to change that narrative.
I was placed on Team Jared Digby and got to know Pamela Digby, who is not only Jared's mom, but is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the A-TCP, and now a dear friend. My wife and I got to know Mrs. Pam, as we affectionately call her, quite well over the course of fundraising for and running the '22 Dopey Challenge and have gotten to know her and her family even better over the last year or so. (Though my wife doesn't run, she lends her talents in the volunteering sphere.) We discovered connections that proved to us that being placed on Team Jared Digby was no accident, it was a God thing, and the opportunities that have presented themselves since linking arms with the A-TCP and Team Jared Digby are numerous.
Jared is no longer suffering on this earth: in fact, my upcoming 34th birthday will mark the passage of 11 years since Jared was #HealedPerfect and went home to be with our Lord. And in striving to carry on his legacy and keep on going -- in search of answers, in search of treatments, in search of a cure -- as Jared wanted, I am eager to "do him proud" in January of 2024.
❗Thank you for supporting me, Team Jared Digby, and the A-T Children's Project!❗