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The Chase Is On!

April 26, 2008 marked Team Reeve's first appearance at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon in Louisville, Kentucky. Fifty runners and volunteers gathered under overcast skies on Saturday morning to race against a record 12,000 other entrants.

Team Reeve members had been training and raising money for months. They came to this event from as far away as Michigan, but nearly half of this group was homegrown.

One of the Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network centers is based at the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville. Frazier employees, along with University of Louisville staff, turned out in large numbers to run, walk, and cheer Team Reeve on. For them, this year's efforts centered on 5-year-old Chase Ford. Chase was spinal cord injured at age two. Just three years later, Chase, his mom, dad, brother, and staff from the NRN were in the miniMarathon.

Chase walked a small part of the race but his team proudly took turns pushing him in a  jogging stroller over the full 13.1-mile course. The Reeve Foundation, through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with University of Lousiville's own Susan Harkema, Ph.D., pioneered and funded the establishment of the NeuroRecovery Network, the program that delivers Locomotor Training  to spinal cord patients, and that enabled Chase to go from zero mobility from the neck down to being able to walk over 100 feet without assistance.

Chase FordThis incredible little boy showed off the results of his many months of hard work to the crowd.  With his NRN team and family stretching across the width of the finish line, Chase walked the last 100 feet of the miniMarathon on his own!

The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon is just one of the many events in which Team Reeve participates. Team Reeve not only raises critical funds to fulfill the Reeve Foundation's mission but provides the inspiration of being part of a team.  There is nothing more motivational and nothing more inspiring than knowing all your efforts are going to benefit the millions of families, like Chase's, affected by paralysis.

Team Reeve LouisvilleSee photos from the event.

There's still time to support Chase and all the Team Louisville athletes and volunteers!

Do something amazing today. Join Team Reeve.

More on Chase Ford
- Walking back-to-school
5-Year-Old Chase is Walking Again

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders