The second-annual JUST TRYAN IT triathlon held on Sunday 19 June in Bethesda, Maryland, generated over 285 participants and 1000 spectators, and raised over US$85,000 to benefit the Georgetown Hospital’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Family Assistance Fund.
The kids triathlon also raised awareness of the impact of childhood cancer on kids, families and communities and highlighted the hope and help that Georgetown University Hospital’s Paediatric program provides to families in need.
In 2010, the foundation raised over US$63,000; and this year it beat its target of U$75000 with the significant US$85,000 raised overall.
JUST TRYAN IT was formed in 2010 when Bethesda then-first grade student Ryan Darby, son of Mollie and Chris Darby, was diagnosed with leukaemia. Inspired by Ryan’s strength, courage and resilience, Mollie’s women’s running group quickly mobilized to support the Darby family and offer their support.
The running group, comprised of several women spanning 12 years in age with kids of multiple ages in nine different school communities, and the Darbys founded the ‘JUST TRYAN IT’ foundation. The runners had just completed an Iron Girl triathlon together under the name Just Tri It, giving them the idea for the foundation name and the triathlon fundraiser.
A number of corporations are supporters of JUST TRYAN IT, including: Big Wheel Bikes, The Washington Nationals, Bethesda Orthodontics, Galliher and Huguely, Nauticon, Plastic Film Corporation, Counselors Title LLC, Stohlman Auto, JetBlue, Landon School, Redwood Restaurant and Bar, Denchfield Landscaping, Tommy Joe’s, Advisorshares, Bank of Georgetown, Ledo Pizza, My Eye Doctor, DowntownBethesda.com, Georgetown Cupcake, HelloEveryWear, Honest Tea, Slice Interactive, Snikiddy, Jump Bunch, CVS, and Fitness For Health.
“We are so very fortunate to have received and continue to receive so much support. Our network of friends and family has been exceptional; however we also know that not all families are so lucky. No family can prepare for being told that their child has cancer. The emotional and financial tolls this can take on families are tremendous,” said Mollie Darby, Ryan’s mum and founding member of JUST TRYAN IT.
“The last thing a family fighting cancer needs is to be concerned with where they will stay during treatment, how they will get to and from appointments, or if they can afford any of it.
JUST TRYAN IT Inc is a non-profit foundation that, through an annual children’s triathlon and various other fundraising efforts, helps families of children with cancer focus their attentions on their family and on beating cancer.
According to experts, childhood cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children, with 46 young people – the equivalent of two entire classrooms of students – being diagnosed every day. More than 12,000 children are diagnosed every year, and over 40,000 children and adolescents currently are being treated for childhood cancers.
The internationally recognized specialists at the Georgetown University Hospital (GUH) Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation are on the cutting edge of cancer research and treatment. Each staff member is dedicated to providing compassionate care in a setting that encourages young patients to act like kids — even while they battle cancer. As the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Washington, DC area, the Lombardi Comprehensive Care Center at Georgetown University Hospital provides pediatric patients and their families with the most advanced therapies available, as well as a wide range of resources — including social services, art therapy, dietetic counseling, and emotional and spiritual support. In addition, they have the backing of an acclaimed academic center – Georgetown University Hospital – to ensure that every patient receives unsurpassed care.
“The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Family Assistance Fund was established because no family should have to worry about basic everyday needs while they are fighting a tiring and difficult battle to save their children from cancer. The fund offers hope and help for families by providing meals, emergency professional therapy or counselling, mortgage and bill help, assistance with travel to and from the hospital, and much more so that families can focus only on their children and making them better,” said Aziza Shad, Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Blood, and Bone Marrow Transplantation.
“We are thrilled that JUST TRYAN IT has continued to support our effort, and their impact will truly allow us to further our quest to holistically care for and treat sick kids and their impacted families.”