My beautiful friend Kathleen had a baby 23 years ago – 6 years after her son Jesse was born, Jesse's kindergarten teacher noticed a difference in the way he was walking and informed Kathleen. After many trips to various doctor appointments, Jesse was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD www.duchenne.com) in Mount Sinai - NYC.
During that same appointment, Kathleen's second son Ayler (who was 4 years old at the time) happened to be at the same appointment for no other reason than to accompany his brother and his mom. When the doctor took a look at Ayler's legs he also noticed similarities to Jesse's. The doctor told Kathleen that he thought Ayler also had the same diagnosis of DMD. Two beautiful children, so young and vibrant, had been sentenced to a lifetime of challenges. Just devastating news to any mother, however not to Kathleen. Kathleen’s initial thoughts were not "woe is me", but rather - "Wow, God thought I was strong enough to handle this gift - and so I will".
As a mom with a total of three children, (Kathleen had a third son Kevin 8 years ago) two children with this terrible debilitating disease, Kathleen charged through and did what she needed to do to ensure her boys have the best care and great experiences to make every day as bright as possible. Her day starts approximately at 5AM every day and does not stop until almost 11:30PM. What we “normal moms” take for granted each day, Kathleen works tirelessly around the clock to tend to her boys that cannot stand or walk, shower, use the restroom or even feed themselves. Perspective - I can never complain again that I’m tired.
As one ages with DMD, complications become worsened. Both Jesse and Ayler, now ages 23 and 21, are experiencing new issues with each passing year. Unfortunately Kathleen (a seasoned hair stylist) had to quit her job at the salon last month to care for her children as they require this additional needed attention and frequent trips to the hospital to treat new complications.
My name is Jennifer Clayton and i have been a friend of Kathleen's for over a decade. I met her at the salon and i have been using Kathleen ever since. I have signed up for the Atlantic City Half Ironman Triathlon taking place on September 17th. I’m dedicating all 70.3 miles of this race and all my training to Kathleen and her beautiful family. This race is merely an excuse to start a fundraiser and try to help my dear friend- who by the way, never complains.
I am writing to ask for your help. With only working on a few clients per month, Kathleen and her family can use all of the help they can get to use for their day to day expenses, their struggle for food, clothing and general bills for their modest 2 bedroom home. All of the funds will be withdrawn before the end of September and will be provided to kathleen and her family.
I am not one to ask unless help is truly needed. I’m sure there are fundraisers you participate in each year, but I’m asking to please consider helping a real life “Wonder Woman” and her lovely family.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." ~Edward Everett Hale
Thank you so much for your kindness -
- Tina and Craig Burfield
- Carrie Ann Wheiler-Alfieri
- Andrea Pistolakis
- Bin Guan
- Amita Bhatia
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