CureJDM Classic 2016 - 1
Organized by: Lance Kerwin
EVENT DATE Dec 09, 2016
My daughter Grace was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) on June 2, 2013 and she continues to fight daily and is seeking a cure. Two-to-four kids out of a 1,000,000 are diagnosed each year. This awful, life-threatening disease which causes the body's immune system to attack its own healthy cells and tissues resulting in muscle weakness, pain, skin rashes, and in some cases death has NO CURE. We are taking steps to change the path by accelerating research through increased awareness and active support of families fighting JDM.
Our first event is called the CureJDM Classic which will be hosted in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The Tampa Bay area was chosen specifically because the face of dermatomyositis is Ricky Bell, running back of the 1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers that nearly went to the SuperBowl. The disease took Ricky's life in 1984. We have invited Ricky's former teammate #88 Jimmy Giles to address the crowd between the two games being hosted the night of 12-9-16. The event has the potential to put 7,000 people in one space to promote our mission and vision.
Sports has interjected life into our daughter's fight. Grace is just like any normal 12 year old child that wants to be out in the sun, play sports, and more importantly connect with her friends. While JDM has taken away her ability to be outside for long periods of time due to exposure of the sun, and impacted her physical capabilities to play sports like soccer, she continues to find other ways to inspire those around her. The Leon High School Lady Lions (LHS) soccer team has embraced Grace and her family to help give encouragement and love as she travels to Arkansas Children's Hospital every 6 weeks for intense treatment. The LHS soccer team honored Grace on 12-11-14; and, extended to the Florida State Women's Tennis program through a fantastic program called Team Impact (see video) on 1-26-15. Together we are making a difference through sports.
The vision for the tournament is to provide the Tampa Bay community with an opportunity to learn about JDM through one of Grace's favorite sports (soccer) and Ricky Bell's story (http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2013/8/20/4636066/ricky-bell-profile-san-diego-chargers-tampa-bay-buccaneers). In addition to Leon High School, we are excited that my alma mater, Tarpon Spring High School, is willing to host the event on 12-9-16 and bring East Lake High School, and Palm Harbor University High School to the awareness event. The schools will play soccer games and provide an opportunity for a speaking event between matches to create awareness and launch our 2020 effort to create a community of 1,000,000 people that are actively following the fight against JDM, supporting families in the daily struggle, and helping to find cures through research.
The ask is to help me raise $10,000 to offset the travel expense for Leon High School to travel to the Tampa Bay area, play in the games, and be apart of activities around the soccer matches. There is also a cost to Tarpon Springs High School to host the matches that I want to offset as well. The girls that are playing in the event are providing the platform for our speaking opportunity between matches on 12-9-16. We are committed to keeping costs at a minimum. Any dollar that is remaining above and beyond the cost of the event will be donated directly to families in need of finding the best care, and research for a cure to JDM.
Thank you in advance for your investment, trust, and encouragement to help us promote our mission of raising awareness, supporting families in the daily battle, and accelerating research in order to benefit children affected by JDM. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at Lance.Kerwin@gmail.com; or, 850.322.3001. I look forward to reporting back on how we leveraged your gracious contributions.