Erika Bradford's Baltimore Marathon Fundraising

Cure JM Foundation

Cure JM 2012 Annual Conference and Fundraising Event (including Charity Running Team)

Baltimore, Maryland

Erika Bradford's Baltimore Marathon Fundraising

Juvenile Dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease.

My son Gary was diagnosed in May of 2009. It started as a rash. A harmless looking rash that popped in while playing in the sun. The next three weeks Gary got sicker. Over next three months we battle more and more symptoms. Gary suffered with muscle weakness and swelling. He even lost the ability to swallow for three months. With aggressive steroid and chemo therapies, we are on the right track. Gary has recovered his strength however, we continue to treat Gary's symptoms with strong medications trying to find remission. We will continue to be mindful of the sun. Seattle is a great place for that, especially in the winter months. We are a big fan of the rain!

After Gary was diagnosed, there were several stages I went through. The standard stages, like fear, and denial. The most difficult one was the grief. For our family this is a first. This is the first time we have been sat down and told one of our children has a disease. I remember saying to my sister, I think I might be having depression. I said it like that because we have all been depressed a time or two but I had yet to experience the dark pull. She explained it was grief. I was grieving over so many aspects of what has happened and what could happen. But with God's help, you snap out of it because we have work to do.


About me:


I have been tossing the Austin Marathon around for a few weeks. I started off with no way. It turned into a maybe. Then while on a 2 mile run I was struck with how this is something that I can do. I was filled with emotion and began to cry while running. I cried for all the pain my son and other children go thru. I cried realizing how brave my baby has been thru this whole ordeal. I cried realizing he will have to continue to be brave. I am a healthy 34 year old woman. I am doing this for my baby. I know it will hurt. It is nothing compared to what my son as been thru. It is nothing compared to what the other Junvenile Dermatomyositis children have been thru.






I can hardly believe January is over. I put as much running in as my body would allow. I did not hit my 20 mile mark but I am just not to worried about that. I did 18 miles last weekend and have tried to keep up my 5 and 6 mile runs during the week. My feet seem to be taking a beating so I am going to keep it ultra light the next two weeks to make sure my feet are good to go. Excited and nervous. Nervous. Thank you for all your donations.


March 27th, 2010

I completed my first marathon and it was amazing. Thank you for all your support and donations. Here is a detailed recap: .


Now it is time to move on to my next marathon. The Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon. I am doing the half. I don't want to anger my body by over doing anything. So June 26th is it, 13 miles thru my home town! I am so excited! I am currently recruiting any and all to be there at this race. Raise Awareness! Come and run with me, or stand on the side and root um on wearing a CureJM Tshirt! You can email me at if you are interested. You can also hook up with me on Facebook . Thank you for your continue support and donations.


Update April 7th, 2010

I had a good run tonight. I ran seven miles. I love this run because it really is a challenge. I run three point six miles from my front door and then back again. What goes down, must come up! Work it. I ran four miles on Saturday then took Easter off. Monday I did a quick thirty minute cardio strength training workout, OK fine! I did the Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. Try it, its fun. I decided to changed my fundraising goal to match my training partner's Michelle Pritchow. Thank you to Kelle Patterson.


JUNE 23rd 2010

Less than twenty four hours until the start of my next 1/2 marathon. I am more relaxed this time and really excited. My last run was a ten mile run on Sunday. Thank you to my friends and family for your donations! I am at 58% which means I only have 42% to go to reach my goal before race time. This has been an amazing journey. I am so grateful I have continued on with training. It is very much symbolic of what my sons body is going through. Battling. Battling the symptoms and the disease activity. His hills are the endless injections and IV starts. The daily taste of more than several bitter tasting medications. The days when he may not feel like playing, but the duty of a three year old kid must go on. A friend asked me do you think he knows or understands any of this. My answer was I don't think he does. I will get the occasional "I sick, huh Mom?" But I think he just knows he's a boy. Donate if you can : )



Jan. 27, 2011

It's that time of year again! Time to train. The Seattle Rock n Roll FULL Marathon! Yeah baby. I can hardly believe it has been a year since I ran my first marathon in Austin, TX. I am so excited for CURE JM to be here in my home town this year. That just rocks! I am looking forward to my friends and family joining me!!!! Gary is doing well. This May will be our 2 year diagnosis. WOW 2 years. Gary will be turning 4 in March. We are thankful Gary's health returned with the help of all the medicine and God's healing. The support has been so wonderful. We have our struggles but its all possible with the love that is surrounding us. For an update on Gary CLICK HERE

RUNNING! Typing, "I hope I can do this" last year, too "Oh yeah baby, just give me a good time" is surreal and puts a smile on my face. I am thrilled to have my sister joining in for half marathon this year. Her first ever! We have had so much fun this year entering local races. I keep a review of our runs on my running blog.


Thank you in advance for whatever you can do to support Cure JM!


SEPTEMBER 2012!!!!!!!  AND I"M STILL HERE.  This year marks my third anniversary into the world of running.  Next on the menu, another full marathon.    I am participating in Cure JM Foundation’s national fundraising and awareness event taking place in Baltimore, Maryland on October 12th and 13th. I am so excited to be running the FULL marathon. It is a great way to celebrate my three years of running. Ths will be my fourth full marathon. This marathon will be in honor of Mason Smedley who lost his battle with JM this past June.  And of course I always run for my little soldier, the bravest kid I know, Gary.   I have to admit I thought this would get easier. All of it. Medications, disease activity, hospital visits. When I first heard about Mason, Gary and I were just checking into the hospital for an infusion. I can't imagine saying good bye to your baby for the last time. So sitting at Gary's bedside that evening was indescribable. I tried not to let fear swallow me. It has made recent months all that more difficult as his disease and treatment has been troublesome and more complicated.  In the past few months it has been bumpy road but here we are keeping up the good fight.




I know that this year of all years has been interesting economically for everyone. That is why I know that if you sponser me in this marathon, it will mean that much more. It has been interesting for our family as well. But by the blessings of God, we find ourselves still focused on the important things. Being together and getting healthy.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for anything you can give. Gary thanks you too!

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! THANK YOU EVERYONE!  Cure JM Foundation is an all-volunteer non-profit organization which was created and is managed by families of children with Juvenile Myositis (JM). Cure JM Foundation’s mission is to provide support to families coping with JM, raise awareness of JM and fund research that will ultimately lead to a cure.

JM is a rare autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. For many children with JM, it's a challenge to simply stand up or sit down and can be life-threatening. This rare disease affects approximately 2-4 children out of a million.

The Foundation’s aspirational goal is to never, ever let another child suffer with Juvenile Myositis. With your help, this goal may be well within reach some day.

Please consider DONATING today! No amount is too small, every dollar we raise gets us one step closer to our goal!
You can also mail your donation to:
Cure JM Foundation
836 Lynwood Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024

Corporate matching forms can be faxed to:
(760) 230-2243

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