Connection to the rare disease cause powers annual 7,000 Mile Challenge
There are many roles that make up the Rare Disease Community. We are patients, families, caregivers, researchers, medical professionals, advocates and policy makers. Individually we are passionate allies. Collectively, we are stronger than any one piece of this vitally important and diverse ecosystem.
It is our connection to the rare disease cause that unites us, and it was inspirational to see so many different and vital pieces of the Rare Disease Community join forces during the 2021 Uplifting Athletes 7,000 Mile Challenge presented by Sanofi Genzyme.
The second year of the 7,000 Mile Challenge, saw 36 teams cover more than 12,000 miles, including 264 individuals who contributed at least one mile - eclipsing our 7,000 mile goal in recognition of the more than 7,000 known rare diseases. In total, the 2021 event raised more than $35,000.
There is no blueprint for how individuals passionate about the cause have found ways to log miles. People walked their dogs and made those miles count, Peloton groups logged a ridiculous number of miles on their bikes and some repurposed miles they would already be knocking out to train for an upcoming race all for the greater good of the Rare Disease Community.
Sure the number of miles each person posts is relevant, but those numbers aren’t the measuring stick for the 7,000 Mile Challenge. What really matters is the inspiring message sent to the Rare Disease Community when each person who joins the team commits to doing their part to help make a difference. Every single mile contributed has meaning.
Thank you to everyone that took time to log miles, make a contribution or support the challenge in some way. It is because you took action that another step forward towards change for people impacted by rare diseases was made. We still have a long way to go. Uplifting Athletes will host the 7,000 Mile Challenge again in 2022 and we hope you will join us!
We are eager to develop more leaders, fund more rare disease research, use the power of sport to elevate the rare disease cause as a priority and ultimately see to it that the Rare Disease Community knows we care and they matter.