It is said that our past experiences define who we are, but it is only up to us to determine if we use that past to better ourselves or not. For college student, Jackson Wyers, his experience of losing a sister affected by a rare congenital anomaly just before she turned 7 years old has made him look at the world in a unique and positive way.
"Now whenever I think of my sister, I remember her tender and caring nature in the midst of a huge disability. As I go throughout my life, I am constantly trying to live more like her and give everyone the attention they need, befriend a friend who needs a friend," Jackson wrote in a paper for high school, "I live life to the fullest the way my wonderful little sister did."
Jackson was really excited that he could take his new found passion for triathlon to help other families affected congenital anomalies through Shawn's Anomaly. It is his way to honor his sister while keeping up and active and healthy lifestyle.
Every 4 1/2 minutes a child is born with an abnormality in the U.S. Sadly, the general public knew very little about these conditions until Shawn's Anomaly was organized in 2012 with a mission to provide education, hope, and help to families affected by congenital anomalies.
Shawn's Anomaly aids families, educates the public, and funds medical research in hopes to reduce the statistic that 1 in 33 children are born with an abnormality. Now amateur athletes from all over the world are using their endurance races to raise awareness for the organization's mission.
Jackson was a competitive swimmer in high school, but he gave up his sport to go to study marine biology at Texas A & M University-Galveston. He missed the competition, but the satellite college was too small for a swim team, so he decided to do the next best thing and sign up for Ironman 70.3 Galveston. It did not take long to be completely hooked. He soon followed up by signing up for the Kemah triathlon when he was introduced to Reason2Race and Shawn's Anomaly. He found out about the iDO fab 5 sponsored team, and he knew he had to sign up since he wanted to make a difference in the world through triathlon even though it is an expensive sport on a college student budget.
Jackson received an email explaining he was selected to join four other endurance athletes from all over the nation to be a part of the iDO! Fab 5. The 5 athletes are sponsored by several national companies like Bluefin Apps, MyFitFoods, Newton Running Shoes, Champion System, and yurbuds to become ambassadors for the Shawn's Anomaly mission.
"I am really excited to get my new pair of Newton running shoes. I have owned a pair since I was a sophomore in high school that I still use, but I can't replace since they are so expensive ," Jackson says, "Thanks Newton!"
To read the complete paper Jackson wrote about his sister and support him on his journey go to: my.reason2race.com/ANDREWWYERS
For more information about Shawn's Anomaly, go to: shawnsanomaly.org
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