- Posted January 7, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
4D, I run for those who can't
My name is Dee Gerber; I am an MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Goodwill Ambassador in Harrisburg, PA. I would like to tell you about my co-worker and friend, Jeff Fazio who runs 5Ks, and his mission.
I was born with Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome, a form of Muscular Dystrophy covered under MDA. I have never known what it is like to run, but it is amazing how much I am now running--through others.
What started out as a little request to Jeff to simply think of those who are not able to run when he hit the one-mile mark on his next 5K has turned into one man’s mission to spread awareness and make a difference for others.
That next race, Jeff took my request one step further; he made a tag for his jersey simply stating "4D," “As in, I am running ‘For Dee,’ since she can’t. It was literally just those two characters – 4 D – printed out on my home printer and stuck on my jersey with safety pins.” That was June 22, 2013.
The following weekend he ran in the Bronx, NY. Realizing then he forgot his tag, he found a fast food napkin and wrote "4D" and pinned it to his jersey, once again running for all who can't. When asked about the napkin on his jersey, Jeff explained the meaning and story behind it.
With growing interest from others, and his dedication to running in support of others, he set a goal. Jeff challenged himself to run a 5K in all 50 states within a year to continue to share the message of 4D.
As of January 1st 2014, Jeff has logged over 50,500 miles including flights, rental cars, and his car and has completed 39 states, and Washington, DC—in six months!
Jeff thought of a slogan, “I Run for Those Who Can’t,” and created a design for merchandise, which can be purchased and worn by others to show their support, http://www.cafepress.com/4d4d. People quickly began to ask him about other sports as well; Hike, Bike, Swim, and for a triathlon Hike Bike Swim. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to MDA.
What makes this more of an incredible and inspirational feat, in February Jeff was not able to complete one mile. He wasn’t going to give up; he kept running, getting to the one-mile mark. Then he pushed harder to better his times, then a bit farther. In April he ran his first 5K.
Sherry Christian, CBS 21 Harrisburg, sat with Jeff and I and spoke with us about 4D and the mission which aired on October 21st “Making a Difference” segment.
Jeff has had the opportunity to talk with people about 4D at the various 5K events, and has been interviewed by TV and newspapers.
To view the interviews and articles, please visit: http://www.jfazioportfolio.com/4D.htm
With the exception of a few donations, thus far Jeff has funded this mission on his own. To date, with flights, registrations, car rentals, fuel, hotels, and tolls he has vested over $11,000.00. He is also purchasing small pins to give to others while he is at the 5K's.
We are on the final stretch of this journey with only 11 states left to run within the next 6 months, a few of which are proving to be the most challenging; logistically and financially. A page has been started for donations to help fund the remainder of this mission. http://www.gofundme.com/5p1plk
We would love the opportunity to share our story, the journey, and what it means to us.
We look forward to hearing from you.