|ULTRA-RUNNER TO RUN 63 MARATHONS IN 63 DAYS FOR CHILDREN WITH INCURABLE DISEASE|
Montreal, will be a Stop on the A-T CureTour on Tuesday, October 30
MONTREAL, OCTOBER 29, 2007- On Tuesday October 30, beginning (9:30 a.m) and ending (1:45 p.m.) at Dante Elementary School (6090 Lachenaie) in St. Leonard ultra-runner and endurance coach Tim Borland will run his 58th of 63 full marathons (42 km each day) in 63 consecutive days to bring attention to a deadly children's disease. His "A-T CureTour" – a partnership with the non-profit A-T Children's Project – will take him across the country, ending on Nov. 4 with the New York City marathon.
Borland's goal is to raise awareness and money for research that will benefit children with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), a rare genetic disease that has no cure. A-T causes the relentless loss of muscle control due to brain cell death; like four diseases in one, A-T combines symptoms of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and cancer. Children with A-T have vibrant minds trapped inside of deteriorating bodies.
Borland says he was inspired to do the A-T CureTour by the children he's met with A-T living with a debilitating and incurable disease each day. His feat has generated regular coverage on ABC's "Good Morning America and on CNN"
Dante was chosen as the site for the only Canadian stop for this marathon because of the fact it has raised some $30,000 for the cause to support one their Grade 4 students who is afflicted with this terrible disease. The entire school has rallied behind the Manuele family, Borland and the A-T Cure Tour. All the students have been working hard to bring in as many pledges as possible to help in the fight to find a cure for this terminal illness.
"Having a child with A-T affects the entire family," said Mario Manuele, father of the nine-year-old student. "It changes the family dynamics, our interpersonal relationships and our family activities in such profound ways. Faced with the brutal reality of A-T, our focus is to make every day for our son as fun and happy as possible. I am sure I speak for all A-T families in that we are so thankful for what Tim and the A-T Children's Project are doing to raise awareness and money for research to fight this terrible disease. We must hold out hope that one day there will be a treatment or a cure for A-T. The A-T Cure Tour helps us maintain that sense of hope."
Borland will begin his race at approximately 9:30 am in the school yard where he will run three laps on the school’s track with students chosen from Grades 4, 5, and 6. All of the students will be wearing their red A-T T shirts to signify that they have raised at least $25 each in pledges. Borland will then leave the school yard and run his grueling 42 km marathon on a route through Montreal. He should be returning back to the school at approximately 1:45 to 2:00pm where he will be joined by another group of Dante School junior runners to run the last three laps in the school yard. A cheque representing all the funds collected from Dante School students and the community will be presented to the Manuele family by officials of the English Montreal School Board at the tailgate party of the marathon. "The challenges I will face in running these marathons will pale in comparison to those faced by the families who run the daily 'marathon' against A-T," Borland said.
Those challenges will be studied by scientists from the Human Performance Lab at Stanford University throughout the Tour. They will monitor him throughout the Tour through a Zephyr BioHarness strap he will wear on his chest, which will record the electrical responses of his heart (ECG) and heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature and movement-acceleration patterns. He will upload the information electronically so that they can evaluate the physical stressors of each marathon and provide feedback on his pace, food intake and other indicators to help him maintain optimal performance and health.
About the A-T Children's Project
The A-T Children's Project is a nonprofit organization formed to raise funds to support and coordinate first-rate biomedical research projects, scientific conferences and a clinical center aimed at finding a cure or life-improving therapies for ataxia-telangiectasia. To learn more about the A-T Children's Project, visit www.atcp.org.
About ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T)
T is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects a startling variety of body systems. Children with A-T appear normal at birth, but the early signs of the disease usually appear during the second year of life. A-T causes the relentless loss of muscle control, usually making children dependent on wheelchairs by age 10 and making it difficult for them to read, speak and eat. Children with A-T also have a strikingly high risk of cancer. Although considered a rare "orphan" disease, A-T may actually be much more common than we know, since many children with A-T, particularly those who die at a young age, are never properly diagnosed. There currently is no cure for A-T and no way to slow the progression of the disease. Research on A-T may help many more common diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. To learn more about A-T, visit www.atcp.org.
Michael J. Cohen