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 and many other women who share our passion to challenge ourselves while also challenge Duchenne.
With the tremendous support of our sponsors and donors, we are proud and very grateful to say we have raised over $300,000. for the fight against Duchenne!
It Just Keeps Getting Better!
2015 has been one of our most exciting years yet as we take on greater personal physical challenges and continue to grow the largest all women's triathlon team dedicated to TRI-ing to END DUCHENNE!
This year we competed in our 7th annual sprint triathlon together in the Title 9 all Women's triathlon in Hopkinton, MA. In doing so, we proudly once again fundraised to support Duchenne research and advocacy as well as a new initiative to fund small grants to families living in Ma or NH. The "Livin' Large" Grant Program of the Jett Foundation directly assists those living with Duchenne so they may affordably participate in adaptive/accessible recreation of their choice. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for those living with Duchenne.
Last May, our very first Virginia Gals team competed in The Ladies' Choice triathlon in Manassas, VA. Two years earlier, 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 this new triathlon challenge to help END DUCHENNE by participating in our first Olympic distance triathlon together, the prestigious New York City Triathlon!
Our Founding Inspiration
Meet Calvin. Calvin is now 13 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. Each day, some of Calvin's muscles are dying and just this summer he lost his ability to walk independently and is now full time power wheelchair dependent. As the disease is progressive, he needs help just brushing his own teeth, feeding himself, even picking up a book to read has 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 Cal's heart 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!
How you can support us
We are raising funds to support scientific research and advocacy as well as adaptive recreation opportunities thru support of the Jett Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Kingston, MA.
Jett Foundation is a co-founder of the 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 co-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 transparent 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 accelerate Duchenne research faster than ever!
Secure online donations may be made by simply clicking on the DONATE NOW button at the top of this 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. Suite One, Kingston, Ma. 02364.
The Gals thank you for your support!
We could not accomplish these goals without you!
She swims, she rides, she runs, she rocks DMD!
2015 Gals For Cal