Dallas Man Honored by Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council for Inspiring Volunteerism
Submitted by: Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum
Posted: Mar 01, 2011 – 10:45 AM EST
ATLANTA, Mar. 01 /CSRwire/ - Each year millions of Americans work up a sweat to raise billions for good causes. Today the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council singled out John Killian of Dallas as its volunteer of the year for the remarkable work he's done on behalf of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. Killian, who has run dozens of marathons and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund PPMD's work, was presented with the Cash, Sweat & Tears Award at the council's annual conference in Atlanta.
When his youngest son Sam was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), Killian quickly became one of the most active families in the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) community. Especially dear to Killian, who currently serves as PPMD's board chairman, is Run For Our Sons, the organization's endurance fundraising program.
"I wasn't a runner when Sam was diagnosed, but training for and running marathons seemed like a no-brainer. It's something tangible that I could do to raise money and awareness for this disease that Sam and other boys like him are fighting every single day," said Killian.
"John Killian's spirit is contagious and he's inspired countless others to run," said Pat Furlong, PPMD's president and CEO who helped present the award which came with a $500 donation to PPMD from Blackbaud and a collection of athletic footwear and apparel from New Balance. "John is a great example of the millions of people who go the extra mile literally and figuratively to fight disease and help their communities," said David Hessekiel, president of the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council.
A tragic accident has kept Killian on the sidelines for nine months. On Father's Day 2010, Killian was driving to a local track for a run, part of his training routine for the upcoming ING New York City Marathon, when he was struck by another car and critically injured. The fatal car crash crushed most of the bones in one of his legs, an injury that he is still healing from today.
"It was frustrating and painful, but seeing what Sam goes through every day living with Duchenne gave me the strength and inspiration to heal from this injury as quickly as I could," he said. Just weeks after his accident, Killian flew to California to cheer on the Run For Our Sons team participating in the Disneyland marathon. A few months later he flew to New York City for the marathon to support those runners as well.
In January, the halo that had been helping his leg heal came off, and Killian is eager to get back into his running shoes and start training for the 2011 ING NYC Marathon.
"The accident was a minor set-back," he said. "We have a lot more miles to run before we find a cure for Duchenne, and I intend to keep running until that happens."
An honor roll listing all of the volunteers nominated by nonprofit organizations for the 2011 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award can be found at www.cashsweatandtears.com.
About the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council: The Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council provides managers of athletic event fundraising programs with practical information, valuable connections and recognition for outstanding achievement via www.runwalkride.com, conferences, workshops and distance learning programs.
About Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) and Run For Our Sons: PPMD is the largest nonprofit organization in the United States focused entirely on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. No other organization lobbies the government more aggressively to increase funding for Duchenne. PPMD strives to improve the treatment, quality of life, and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne through research, advocacy, education, and compassion. For more information visit Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD).
Run For Our Sons started in 2005 with hopes of attracting a small number of runners for the Walt Disney World Marathon, to raise money and awareness. Instead, almost 100 runners participated in the program's first outing. Today, hundreds of runners have raised millions by participating in every major marathon across the country, as well as half marathons and smaller local races, going the distance to end Duchenne. For more information about PPMD's endurance fundraising program, Run For Our Sons, visit Run For Our Sons.
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