September 22, 2021 | MR
Photo: Jim's daughter joins him to a run a block around mile 15.
On a sunny day in September, Jim Flynn ran his first ever marathon while raising funds for Cure MLD and the Calliope Joy Foundation. His original fundraising goal was surpassed and his supporters donated nearly $20,000!
On his fundraising page, Flynn writes, “I am completely awestruck by everyone's generosity so far… While race day was a success (those SF hills were no joke!) - the real accomplishment was that we were able to raise over $19,000 for Cure MLD and the Calliope Joy Foundation.”
Flynn has been a long-time student of medicine and rare disease. Throughout his career, he’s done a lot of research on orphan diseases including lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). This hit even more close to home when his best friend’s daughter, Radha, was diagnosed with an LSD called metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD).
“It is unfathomable what these families and caregivers go through, yet truly admirable how they somehow do it and never give up.” - Jim Flynn
Flynn says one of the reasons he likes to run is because it helps him clear his head and provides “quiet thinking time.” During long runs, he often thinks about the struggles families affected by rare diseases face, particularly the family of his best friend of 23 years. He has seen the challenges they go through, and wanted to help. That is why Flynn decided to use the San Francisco marathon as an opportunity to raise funds for Cure MLD and the Calliope Joy Foundation.
Radha’s parents, Vibhav Rangarajan and Sonal Patel, have been remarkable advocates for the MLD community. Through pushing for treatment for their daughter, educating the FDA about MLD, speaking at leukodystrophy conferences and more, they’ve become inspiring champions for their daughter and other MLD families.
Cure MLD and the Calliope Joy Foundation are so thankful for the fundraising efforts of Jim Flynn, and the advocacy efforts by Radha’s family. Congratulations to Jim for a successful first marathon and an amazing gift to MLD families!
You can learn more about Jim Flynn's story and view the original fundraiser here: https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/3433639
Photo: Jim runs up one of San Francisco's notorious hills during the race on September 19th.
Photo: Jim celebrates a successful race with a photo at the finish line.