SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Muscular dystrophy is a disease with no cure. One KELOLAND family is on a mission to change that. Now they’re taking that fundraising to another level by partnering with local brokers.
Sawyer and Wesley Bryan are your typical brothers.
“Sometimes we play video games, sometimes we play with the neighbors,” said 10-year-old Sawyer Bryan.
But a few years ago, Sawyer’s parents noticed that something might be wrong.
“We had him at soccer and we noticed he had a hard time keeping up with the kids, running and keeping up, so we noticed he lacked some core strength,” said father Beau Bryan.
After a series of tests, doctors told the family that Sawyer had Duchenne muscular dystrophy. That was in December 2019.
“That was a devastating moment for us,” Beau Bryan said. “Muscular dystrophy is the continual breakdown of muscles throughout the body, the legs, the arms, the core muscles, the reason it ends is because the heart muscle begins to break down.”
Wesley was also tested and a couple of months later it was determined that he also had the disease. While there is no cure, there are a few things that can help keep it from progressing as quickly.
“I stretch my legs and my hands, I don’t like it,” Sawyer Bryan said.
Since the diagnosis, the family has created Bryan guys for hope as a way to raise funds for an organization called cure rare diseases.
“A nonprofit organization based in Boston with world-renowned physicians collaborating across the country,” said Beau Bryan.
Now the family is teaming up with a local business and brokers to help raise money for the nonprofit.
Beau Bryan met Benson Langat through the Leadership class of 2022 in South Dakota.
“It was during the second session at Brookings that I felt the time was right to tell a group of 42 people who were all strangers but are now best friends the story of our guys, and before I even got off stage, Benson he would walk up to me with a smile saying ‘I have a great idea on how I can help,’” said Beau Bryan.
Benson is a competitive runner. As a runner, he wants to use his talent to help others.
Benson is teaming up with another runner, Derrick Ettel, both Sketchers Performance Athletes, and 605 Running Company for a fundraiser called ‘Chase for a cure.’ It will take place during the Skedaddle Half Marathon in April.
“I’ve been a part of the Skedaddle program since it started and I’ve been enjoying what it’s giving to the community and I thought this would be a great cause to use the race as a fundraiser so I talked to Greg about it. said Benson Langat, competitive runner and running coach.
Both Benson and Derrick will start the race 5 minutes after the start of the race. Your goal will be to connect with as many brokers as possible.
I’m thinking of Sawyer and Wesley I’m thinking of Beau is my brother so it’s become family so I’m thinking of them so my goal is to do whatever I can to help them because they care about their kids , so my goal is to encourage people, have as much fun as I can and raise funds for them,” Langat said.
The goal is to raise $25,000, so 605 running company is looking for people to sponsor the two runners.
“We want to get sponsors that will engage our two racers and see how many people they can interact with, we call it interaction, they’re not there to beat everyone, they want to cheer everyone on,” 605 running owner Greg Koch said.
Although it is a great goal, there is confidence that it will be achieved. Right now there are about 1,000 runners registered for the race.
Making this a way for people to take action and support a local family.
“There are a lot of great people in this city and state who want to help in these kinds of situations and this is a great opportunity to give them the opportunity to do so,” said Beau Bryan.
“I hope a lot of people will show up, run, use the gift that God has given us and have fun with it and raise money for the kids,” Langat said.
To learn more about Skedaddle and how to get involved or donate, click here.