The Splash 'n Dash, benefiting Justins TRIumph Over GAN, an organization that raises funds and awareness for Giant Axonal Neuropathy (GAN), was held on Sunday, May 6 at the J. The event was organized for kids aged 7-15: 7-10 year olds swim 100m and run 1/2 mile, and 11-15 year olds swim 200m and run one mile.
The J hosted the event, race packet pick up and provided lifeguards. One very determined child and his mother shared their experience with us:
"Daniel is 7 years old, and has dyspraxia, a coordination disorder, as well as some sensory processing issues. He was determined to do the Splash 'n Dash as he couldn’t handle the bicycle part of the kids triathlon without training wheels just yet. He was the absolute LAST swimmer in his group, and got a huge cheer from the spectators. (I warned him about this ahead of time, and that it was a good thing.) We bent the rules a little - I was teary eyed as I ran with him from the pool and helped him in the transition area. His dad promised to do the run part with him. Every step of the way. Super proud of Daniel (and his twin brother Ben, too)," she wrote.
Daniel’s mother also made a special mention of our aquatics director, Lee Hutchens, who encouraged her son to stay in the water and finish. She also found the lifeguard who supported her son along the way, thanked him and shook his hand for letting Daniel stay in the water to finish the swim. She provided these pictures of Lee and our lifeguard encouraging Daniel to finish his race.
From the lifeguards, to the participants, to the audience, the J and all of the amazing volunteers who helped to put on this event meant so much to this family and other families. The event raised almost $12,000 for GAN.
Go Team J!