Dashing for Drew 2016 is up and running! When I say running, I of course mean walking, running, jogging and sprinting - depending on which team member you are referring to on any given day! This year we will have an age range of 14 to 50+ (after 50 we have given up on keeping track), members who have run every D4D race and first time participants. Athletes who are focused on the competition and non-athletes who will gut it out for the charitable aspect. People who have known Drew since the day he was born and those who have just met him in recent years. On November 6th we will all assemble at the start of the D+L Half Marathon course and head out to do our best for 13.1 miles. As I type that number, I can feel the dread growing in the back of my mind and my achy achilles tendon! But all I have to do is remember that D4D has made an incredible impact on the NF community over the years, and so slow or slower here we go again!
When we line up that morning, Drew will be a month away from his 18th birthday, he will also have taken the SAT for the final time the day before and most of his college applications will have been completed. How will he celebrate? Just like every other high school senior…he will complete 13.1 miles! It’s almost unfathomable to think back to the first time Neurofibromatosis was uttered in my presence over 16 years ago and compare that to where we are now. The diagnostic testing and interventions that are in place now were either woefully unreliable, or not even in existence all those years ago. So many advances, so much growth in the field and still there is no cure. We have met and lost amazing people over the years in our NF community. We have celebrated triumphs for so many kids and their families and we have witnessed a singular focus and dedication to advancement of treatments by so many amazing medical professionals at CHOP. As I think about all of that, I am filled with gratitude and pride that Dashing 4 Drew has had a hand in those advancements. The incredible support of our amazing donors have led to tangible results for the NF program. And those results directly impact the experience of NF families from around our region as they bring their amazing kids in each and every day. We are not the people who will find the cure, but we are the people who will help those charged with that task to continue to strive for that finish line. The same way each member of our team will strive for the finish line on Nov 6th!
Please accept the thanks of our entire team for your continued support of Dashing for Drew and the NF Program at CHOP! Drew still checks the site to see our progress and to read the comments. We all do, actually. And I can attest that more than once the knowledge of so many people supporting our efforts has kept more than one runner moving forward!
Thank you never seems to be sufficient, but until we can figure out how to post a big team hug on this site, it will have to do. So from our little band of runners to each and every person who makes a donation on this page…