Challenging Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
The Gals Story
We started as a few friends of the Quitzau family
wanting to do "something" to help their young son, Calvin, who at age 5 was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, DMD, and have blossomed into a whole "team" of women called The Gals For Cal, helping 20,000 boys diagnosed with Duchenne!
In 2009, our inagural year, we brought together 20 women along with Calvin's mother to do our first triathlon together as a team with the purpose of raising awareness and funds for Duchenne research. Most of the Gals had never done any sports related races previously. In fact, most of us were not even athletes and had to learn to swim, bike and run to participate! In 2010, we grew our team to 50 Gals and added 2 mothers of young sons with DMD. By 2011, we had competed in our 3rd triathlon as a team with 85 amazing women racing together against Duchenne! Since then we have proudly been joined by several more mothers of sons with Duchenne!
With the tremendous support of our sponsors and donors, we are proud to say we have raised over $160,000 for the fight against Duchenne!
It just keeps getting better!
2013 is shaping up to be our most exciting year yet as we take on greater personal physical challenges and continue to grow the largest all women's triathlon team TRI-ing to END DUCHENNE!
On September 8, the Gals For Cal will compete in our 5th sprint triathlon together in the Title 9 all Women's triathlon in Hopkinton, MA! In doing so, we are proud once again to fundraise to support the tremendous work of the Jett Foundation.
In addition, last July we added a team of 13 Gals who partnered with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy's first ever "Tri For Our Sons" team. We were very excited to take on the additional triathlon challenge to help END DUCHENNE by participating in our first Olympic distance triathlon, the prestigious New York City Triathlon!
This challenge was made possible by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, an official selected charity of the 2012 New York City Triathlon.
Our Founding Inspiration
Meet Calvin. Calvin is now 11 years old. He is an adorable boy who is witty, talkative, and friendly. He is the first born of triplet siblings--being one minute older than his brother and sister is a position he takes seriously! Calvin inspires us because he never complains about his growing struggles and doesn't want special attention (like a piggy back up the stairs because of his progressing weakness). Each day, some of Calvin's muscles are dying and by the time he is 12, like most boys with Duchenne, he is expected to lose the ability to walk independantly. As the disease progresses, brushing his own teeth, feeding himself, even picking up a book to read will become impossible for him to do alone. The typical course of Duchenne also affects respiratory function and since the heart is a muscle too, eventually it will fail. Most boys with Duchenne do not live past their teens or twenties. Cal's daily struggles are growing, yet he is always upbeat and finds humor in just about everything. After a day of sledding and snowmobiling, Calvin exclaimed, "Yeah, I'm livin' large!" Calvin, YOU inspire us to "live large" everyday and help make a difference in the lives of the 20,000 boys living with Duchenne!
What we are funding in 2013
We are raising funds to support scientific research as well as clinical care provided at the Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinic at Mass General Hospital in Boston, MA.
The Gals are proud supporters of the newly founded International Duchenne Alliance and Duchenne Dashboard! We support this rapidly growing network of foundations and scientists solving the slow steps in the funding process through enhanced software and collaboration. Participating Duchenne Foundations identify and co-fund the most promising research proposals. Scientists can now reach a broader and appropriate audience through the Duchenne Dashboard portal. We are extremely excited to fund projects posted on this Dashboard. By doing so, we enhance the funding process for both scientists and foundations so we may all work together to excelerate Duchenne research faster than ever!
How you can support us
Online tax deductable donations to Jett Foundation can be made by clicking the DONATE HERE button at the top of the page.
Your tax deductable donations in the form of a check may be made payable to Jett Foundation. Please write Gals For Cal in the Memo field and mail to Jett Foundation, 68 Evergreen St., Kingston, Ma.