I am Joyce Kelly, a successful realtor for Nathan Grace, an active member of the MetroTex Association of Realtors, and a competitive Playtri paratriathlete. I have always enjoyed running, even though I was a very slow and awkward runner. About 3.5 years ago, I was diagnosed with CMT disease, (Charcot Marie Tooth disease), a progressive, degenerative nerve disease affecting 1 in 2500 people worldwide, which will eventually rob me of the ability to walk or use my arms and hands without assistance. Eventually, swallowing and breathing will be difficult and I will be deaf.
My doctors at UTSW actually suggested I stop running and strength training immediately. With that in mind, I hired a triathlon coach, Playtri's Coach Morgan Hoffman, and together, we never looked back. Instead, Coach Morgan had me competing in sprints and Olympics as a paratriathlete. My balance and coordination are better than ever. We never focus on the disability -- it's just another triathlon challenge -- just like all triathletes face. We focus on the ability. With Coach Morgan's guidance, last year I qualified for USAT Paratriathlon Nationals. This year, Coach Morgan will guide me to my first 70.3. Coach Morgan also contacted Dr. Robert Chetlin with the Centers for Disease Control and I am now a human lab rat soon to be involved in an exercise and gene therapy protocol study for CMT.
To help raise money for this medical study, I approached the MetroTex Board of Directors and presented my idea to host a run event and raise money for this study. They agreed and asked me to chair the race event, the MetroTex DFW Get Fit Race - a chip timed 10K, 5K and a Family / Pet 1 mile fun run. Playtri is race directing and next Saturday, May 3, 2014, the race will finally happen! This would be a great training run for your next triathlon. Please sign up to run so I can be one of the first lab rats to get the cure!!!