Paddling for Iris, 340 Miles for Debra
The 12th Annual MR340 - 8-11 August 2017
WHAT IS THE MR340?
The Missouri River 340 (MR340) website describes it perfectly: “Imagine a race across the entire state of Missouri, just you and your boat thrown against 340 miles of wind, heat, bugs and rain. This ain’t no mama’s boy float trip. This race promises to test your mettle from the first stroke in Kansas City to the last gasp in St. Charles.”
The MR340, an endurance race across the state of Missouri, is the longest continuous paddling race in North America and maybe the world. Competitors have just 88 hours reach the finish line navigating everything from bridge pylons, wing dikes and towboats pushing barges, to river boils, swirls, whirlpools and the occasional flying Asian carp. The MR340 has been picked as one of the top 40 events in the USA by National Geographic.
WHAT IS EB?
Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) — "The Worst Disease You've Never Heard Of."
Epidermolysis Bullosa (ep-i-der-mo-lie-sis bu-low-suh), or EB, is a rare genetic connective tissue disorder that affects 1 out of every 20,000 births in the United States (approximately 200 children a year are born with EB). There is no treatment or cure. There are many genetic and symptomatic variations of EB, but all share the prominent symptom of extremely fragile skin that blisters and tears from minor friction or trauma. Internal organs and bodily systems can also be seriously affected by the disease. EB is always painful, often pervasive and debilitating, and is in some cases lethal before the age of 30. EB affects both genders and every racial and ethnic background equally. Daily wound care, pain management, and protective bandaging are the only options available for people with EB. See more at http://www.debra.org
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
In 2016 my cousin and her husband welcomed the most beautiful little girl into the world. Iris was born with EB and in an instant our family became intertwined with Debra of America. There is nothing our family wouldn't do for Iris so we jumped in head first, raising money and awareness of EB and all the great work Debra of America does. So I asked myself what could I do for Debra and Iris...and that's when I discovered the MR340.
The MR340 came to my attention while I was searching for kayak races in the area. As an avid kayaker and someone always looking for the next "epic" adventure I was instantly fixated on entering and competing in the 2017 MR340. The challenge and fact that 1/3 of all participants quit before the finish made it something that I had to do. So at 1am on 1 Jan 2017 I registered for the race. I will be competing, with my step-father, in the Mens Solo division with the number 0122 on the bow of my kayak. The number 0122 is in remembrance that every day, 22 US Veterans commit suicide.
The race draws alot of press and interest in the mid-west portion of the country. I figured if I was going to paddle 340 miles, I might as well use it as an opportunity to help raise awareness of EB and Debra and maybe raise some money for researching a cure. So that's how "Paddling for Iris, 340 Miles for Debra" came to be. If I can make one person aware of EB, and the struggle those who live with the disorder face, then the whole thing is worth it.
I have no delusions of winning the 2017 MR340. The goal is to finish strong for Iris and all those living with EB.
WHERE DO THE DONATIONS GO?
100% of ALL donations that are made through this page in support of Paddling for Iris, 340 Miles for Debra will go directly to Debra of America in Iris's name. The Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America (debra of America) is the only U.S. nonprofit providing all-inclusive support to the EB Community, through funding research for a cure and by providing free programs and services for those with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
Thank you for supporting me in my efforts to raise money and awareness for the EB community, and Debra of America. Please click the button on the right of the page to complete your donation. Every little bit helps us get closer to a cure for The Worse Disease You've Never Heard Of. Did you know that of those born with EB in 2014, 22% are no longer with us? That's why we count on the support of people just like you: Because the cost of doing nothing is too great.
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