In 2013, our third year, we tripled our donations and helped create more awareness for those affected by neuromuscular disorders.
I remember the day clearly when I received a phone call from the specialist. I was 18 weeks pregnant with my first child and my nephew Garrett had just been diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The specialist told me it was urgent that I get tested to see if I carried the specific gene. My nephew Garrett had been diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and our family was just learning what he was about to go through and there was no way I was getting tested even with all the information we had. I would support my child however it would enter the world. During this time my sister received her results and found she wasn’t a carrier after all, but there was a gene mutation when Garrett was developing.
The more my family learned about DMD, the more we wanted to help in any way possible. In the days leading to my delivery we organized a way to store my cord blood in hopes it may help Garrett in the future. Unfortunately on the day of my delivery there were complications and I was unable to save the stem cells. What we thought might eventually be a cure or way to help Garrett was again out of our hands.
It is very hard to watch your family go through the emotions and procedures and you can’t do anything but be a support and help in any way they need. The next best thing I could think of was to create an event that at least would raise money and awareness of DMD.
I run my own personal training business and was able to create an event called Muscles in Motion in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Canada and the Red Deer Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. With the help of two great friends, we designed an 8km Trail Run and Team Fire Fighter Fitness Challenge. The trail runs through the scenic paths of Jarvis Bay Provincial Park in Alberta. The natural terrains and inclines make for a great, challenging run.
The fitness challenge was designed around fire fighters as they are the main supporters of the charity. I wanted to design a physical challenge that was based around fire fighter training. It consisted of 6 stations that lasted 8 minutes each. Each station is designed to challenge your physical abilities and how far you could push yourself. There is a saying you hear quite often “Don’t take your muscles for granted.” This is what I had in mind when creating an event that challenges every muscle so you can appreciate having your mobility.
In our first year we generated $2,725. Our second year we doubled our attendance and raised over $5,526. This year we blew it out of the park. A kid trail run and fitness challenge was added as well as a silent auction and BBQ, raising just under $16,728. We had incredible sponsors and amazing volunteers helping out to make this event such a success. It was an incredible feeling to see the growth and I can’t wait for another great response next year.
I know this event will continue for many years and raise even more funds to help with research in finding a cure for this devastating disorder. Every day I pray that a cure will come tomorrow, but in the meantime I will continue to support those affected through the Muscles in Motion event and my beloved nephew Garrett.
Kimberley Reinhart is the Muscles in Motion organizer for the Red Deer Walk for Muscular Dystorphy.