Project 96 was started by one of my best friends, Ryan McCarthy.  He’s like a brother to me and I’m so proud of him for taking on this ambitious challenge so I wanted to share it with you!  Ryan started training and competing in marathons a couple years ago and has decided to put his growing mileage towards an amazing cause: fighting Juvenile Dermatomyositis, a rare and incurable auto-immune disease that affects as few as 2-4 children out of a million.   In particular, the project will benefit an adorable 6 year old girl named Keira Jzyk, who is suffering from JDM.

Here’s some information about the disease from the Cure JM Foundation:

Juvenile Myositis (JM) including Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) and Juvenile Polymyositis (JPM), is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. Weak muscles and skin rash are the primary symptoms of JDM, while muscle weakness without a rash is the primary symptom of JPM. For many children with JDM, it’s a challenge to simply stand up or sit down and can be life-threatening. This rare disease affects approximately 2-4 children out of a million. There is no cure.

The Cure JM Foundation is an all-volunteer non-profit organization which was created and is managed by families of children with Juvenile Myositis (JM). Cure JM Foundation’s mission is to provide support to families coping with JM, raise awareness of JM and fund research that will ultimately lead to a cure. The Foundation’s aspirational goal is to never, ever let another child suffer with Juvenile Myositis. With your help, this goal may be well within reach some day.

The title Project 96 is derived from the number of miles Ryan will run, swim and bike in 2 events, 7 days apart!  Here’s the breakdown:

October 6, 2013- The Half Full Triathlon in Ellicott City, Maryland: .9 mile swim | 56 mile bike ride | and 13.1 mile run
October 13, 2013- The United HealthCare Marathon in Newport, Rhode Island:  26.2 miles

96 miles!  I’ve just started running again (I’m lucky if I make it to 3 miles) so this is so incredible and inspirational to me.  Ryan has been super dedicated, even waking up early to run 16 miles in the morning on Nantucket before heading to the beach! Please help Ryan raise money and awareness for JDM by:

1.  Making a donation- any amount makes a difference! Just click this link:
2.  Sharing the fundraising page of his team (Team CureJM) or this blogpost to your social media accounts to spread awareness of JDM.

To learn more about the Cure JM Foundation, visit  The Foundation has received a top-rated non-profit award for 3 years in a row from  Read their reviews here.

Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about JM and for supporting Project 96!

Ryan and I at Figs in Nantucket

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