Competing in a triathlon is extremely difficult, but imagine how much more difficult it must be as a wheelchair-bound Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patient.
21-year old college student and DMD patient Jett McSherry, who has been confined to a power wheelchair since the age of 12, has enlisted the help of his friends, to prepare to participate in his first triathlon. His team, Tri4Jett is comprised of approximately 25 triathletes who will be working with him to make sure he crosses the finish line.
DMD is a progressive muscle disorder caused by the lack of functional dystrophin protein. DMD patients lose the ability to walk as early as age 10, and experience life-threatening lung and heart complications in their late teens and 20s.
For the past 5 years, The Tri4Jett team has participated in the Cohasset Triathlon
to help raise both awareness of the disease and funds for the Jett Foundation. This year, the inspiration for the team, Jett, will also be participating.
For the running portion of the race, members of the team will take turns pushing Jett in his stroller. For the swimming part of the race, Jett’s stroller will be placed in a small boat and pulled by 2 or 3 of the Tri4Jett volunteers. Finally, for the final leg of the race, the stroller will be attached to the back of a bicycle.
Leading the team will be Craig Martin of The Goodale Company
. Participants will include Martin's daughter, as well as friends of Jett, one of whom - Josh Dyer - was his college roommate.
“Training for a triathlon is physically and mentally challenging,” said Dyer. “Jett and I have been pushing each other to keep going, and he is proving every day that he is an athlete in his own right. We hope to have the support and excitement on race day that reflects the hard work Jett is putting into this.”
To learn more about Duchenne and help fund the race, click here
All of the money raised from the race will go towards the JettGiving Fund
that helps DMD families purchase needed equipment like vans, lifts, beach chairs, etc. that may not be insurance.