Stronger than Duchenne in the City of Brotherly Love

On November 21st, Lance Hains and Mitch Spittle were the first athletes to represent Jett Foundation at the Philadelphia Marathon.

Childhood friends Lance and Mitch decided to run the marathon in honor of Lance’s little brother Levi, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. That doesn’t slow him down though–Levi is an active member of his community, attending football events, navigating clinical trials, even volunteering with the local swim team. Lance and his brother Luke have been supporters of Jett Foundation for years, most recently in the cross-country cycling tour JettRide. Mom Perlita is also a Community Ambassador for Jett Foundation, serving as a resource for other Duchenne parents.

While no strangers to Jett Foundation, navigating the marathon was new for Lance and Mitch. Lance says, “I ran because I wanted to do something challenging, while raising money and awareness for my brother and all the other boys affected by Duchenne. It also made me realize how grateful I am to have the capability to run 26.2 miles, because there are many boys with Duchnne who will never have the chance to walk or run.”

With the support of their community, the boys have far exceeded their fundraising goal. At the time of writing, they have raised $13,205 for Jett Foundation! Huge thank you to all the supporters, including Bernie Reynolds, who was so inspired by the ongoing efforts of the Hains family and specifically wanted to support Lance and Mitch in their marathon endeavor. Bernie, who lost his son to Duchenne, says “there is a big place in my heart for the families and boys who suffer from this disease. My hope and prayers are that a cure can be found.”

In 2021, Jett Foundation celebrated 20 years of empowering families in the fight against Duchenne. This year, Jett Foundation will provide 250 individuals with week-long virtual and in-person Camp Promise fun and activities, educate over 500 participants through our Community Webinar series and education materials, provide support and grief management to moms, grandmothers and caregivers through our monthly Parent Support group/Porch Nite program, and gift roughly $800,000 of accessibility equipment and emergency grants to dozens of families in need through the two branches of our Jett Giving Fund. Check out our 20th Anniversary Video to look back on our journey.