Mississippi College

Jackson’s Great Strides Race on April 21 Raises Funds to Fight Cystic Fibrosis

April 3, 2012

A 26-year-old Mississippi College graduate, Tyler Blount of Clinton has fought Cystic Fibrosis since he was an infant.

Doing two hours of physical therapy daily and taking nearly 36 pills each day, the Mississippi accountant continues to battle the disease. These days, Blount is also getting his body prepared to run a 5K Jackson road race to help raise money to combat CF.

Blount will have his running shoes on for the 2012 Jackson Great Strides Walk/5K Run set for April 21 at Mayes Lake off Lakeland Drive. It begins with a 9 a.m. 5K registration and 9:30 a.m. walk registration.

Participants are seeking to raise as much money as they can to benefit Mississippi’s chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Cystic Fibrosis is a fatal genetic disease that afflicts 30,000 adults and children in the United States, and 70,000 people worldwide. It causes debilitating lung infections.

The Jackson race is part of a nationwide campaign to raise nearly $40 million to battle Cystic Fibrosis.

Running really isn’t fun for Blount. In fact, he “hates” three things in life – dentists, spiders and running. But the Clinton native and Mt. Salus Christian School graduate promises to be out there at Mayes Lake because he knows it’s a great cause.

“I’ve been really blessed,” Blount says. When he was born in 1986, people with Cystic Fibrosis lived an average of 18 years.  Many with Cystic Fibrosis died during their early childhood years. Today, due to medical and research advances, there are people with CF living much longer, with some living into their 30s and 40s.

Still, “we lose precious young lives to this disease every day,” says Renda McGowan, executive director of the Mississippi chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “It’s more important than ever that we raise every dollar we can to fight Cystic Fibrosis.”

McGowan says she’s grateful to every volunteer, donor and corporate sponsor who supports Jackson’s Great Strides race on April 21.

Walkers turning in $100 or more will be awarded the National Great Strides T-shirt. Donor registrants will also be treated to a hamburger lunch from Outback Steakhouse.

But Blount really isn’t doing the 5K race for a T-shirt and a burger. It’s for a wonderful cause he truly believes in, and hopes other Mississippians join him that spring day.

Blount is also a firm believer in Mississippi College. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Baptist-affiliated MC in 2008 and earned a master’s in business administration with an accounting emphasis from the Christian university in 2010. His wife, Jennifer, is an MC graduate.

Mississippi College connections with the Great Strides road race run deep.

Laurie Martin, the development director for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Mississippi chapter, received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi College in 1996.

Martin says she’s happy to see that MC Choctaws, including Tyler Blount, are “working to help us beat Cystic Fibrosis!”

Tyler and Jenny Blount teamed up to do a video that shares Tyler’s story.

For more information on Jackson’s Great Strides race go to http://greatstrides.cff.org or www.cff.org. People wishing to enter the April 21 race or make a donation can also call the Mississippi chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at 601.981.3100.

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