The event’s beneficiary is the Team Drea Foundation.
I was diagnosed with ALS at age 33, less than a year after completing 5 triathlons, including a 70.3 half Ironman. A month after confirmation of my diagnosis in August 2014, I did a super sprint triathlon and ended up being featured in Endurance magazine. In November 2015, I completed the City of Oaks marathon in Raleigh, NC on my recumbent trike.
Doing a marathon after a year of living with ALS rocked my perspective. The average life expectancy for a person with ALS is 2-5 years, but everyone is different. Clearly, I was lucky/blessed to have slow progression — even though I had to use a walker, my muscles were strong enough to power my trike. So I started thinking, “I’m sick of waiting around for this disease to kill me!”
In 2016, 2017, and 2018, I completed 12 races per year — mostly marathons, half marathons and triathlons.
For 2019, I’ve decided on a new challenge: 6 full marathons. I want to push myself at that level, work on my fitness and form, and travel to some fun places. And if ALS wants to kill me…it’s going to have to catch me first!
ABOUT THE TEAM DREA FOUNDATION
Andrea Lytle Peet created Team Drea in 2015 when friends kept remarking that her story had inspired them to take on a big challenge – an Ironman, a half marathon, a triathlon, their first race ever.
She encouraged friends and family to take on a race that represented a challenge to them and use it as an opportunity to raise money for ALS research. In 3 years, Team Drea grew to 150+ athletes in 22 states, Canada, and the U.K, and has raised more than $360,000 for ALS research.
In October 2016, Andrea and her husband David incorporated the Team Drea Foundation as a 501(c)(3) in order to leverage the momentum they have built thus far, and to maximize the flexibility of their support to invest in the most promising ALS research on the horizon.
The Team Drea Foundation funds and supports bold, innovative research to find a cure or effective treatment for ALS. We see raising awareness about this devastating disease as an opportunity to inspire people to live bravely, love joyfully, and appreciate the gift of life. Our tagline is: “Go on, be brave. Make a world without ALS.”
Research We Support:
At this time, Team Drea supports two organizations that are passionately dedicated to research. They keep their overhead costs low and innovation high.
ALS TDI is the world’s first and largest nonprofit biotech firm. The organization focuses on pre-clinical trial research and the development of drug therapies for ALS. When they find something promising (such as AT-1501, which just entered clinical trial), they sell or partner with pharmaceutical companies and other organizations to further develop the drugs and get them to market.
Andrea is participating in their Precision Medicine Program, which is using her blood and skin tissue to look for biomarkers and create a stem cell line to study the mechanisms of the disease and screen potential treatments from already approved medical compounds.
Andrea is a national ambassador for ALS TDI and received the Stephen Heywood Patient Today Award in 2016.
Under the direction of Andrea’s doctor, the world-renown neurologist Dr. Richard Bedlack (see his work featured on CNN), Duke is doing incredibly innovative research on rare cases of ALS reversals and off-label or alternative treatments.
Andrea is currently participating in a triheptanoin trial at Duke.