“We are in a race against time,” said Vicky Singh with a determined look on her face. “It is imperative that we raise as much money as possible to fund promising research to find drugs to treat and cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) — to save children’s lives. If researchers find the right drugs, other neurological motor diseases including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and other forms of muscular dystrophy will also benefit from the research.”
Singh and her husband Gurpreet are passionate about raising funds for this lethal genetic disorder of childhood because their son, Saij was diagnosed with DMD in 2008 at the age of 6. This progressive muscular disorder affects 1 in 3,500 boys worldwide and there is no known treatment or cure. Even though Saij has lost his ability to walk, he hasn’t lost his spirit, his sense of humor or his energy and enthusiasm. The prognosis for most with DMD is that they lose the battle to DMD in their early 20s. But his family and friends are doing everything in their power to change the course of this disease and to find a cure.
“Saij aspires to be the president of the United States one day,” she said. “His role model is President FDR and he says that if Roosevelt could do it in a wheel chair then so can he. We have visited the FDR Memorial in D.C. several times and our favorite quote by Eleanor Roosevelt is, ‘Franklin’s illness gave him strength and courage he had not had before. He had to think out the fundamentals of living and learn the greatest of all lessons — infinite patience and never ending persistence.’”
On Sunday, April 14, “Team Saij – Simply the Best” (501-c3) will hold a Charity Bowl-A-Thon for this cause. The evening will include bowling, a gourmet dinner, drinks, raffle prizes and much more. Most importantly, the evening will raise awareness and generate funds for DMD. All of the funds from this evening will go toward research. The Bowl-A-Thon will take place at the premiere 300 Shady Grove Bowl, 15720 Shady Grove Road in Gaithersburg from 5 – 7:30 p.m.
“We have a number of sponsorship levels to support our Charity Bowl-A-Thon,” Vicky Singh said.
“We will offer both individuals and corporations the chance to own and manage their own lane with their logos displayed on large LCD monitors and the opportunity to address the audience about their organization, distribute sample products and brochures to the audience. We are expecting a large number of people to attend.” Sponsors will receive recognition in the event flyer and on the Team Saij website.
Raffle items will include an I-pad Mini, a Kindle Fire, a Nook HD, a Nintendo DS, travel packages, New York weekends, sporting event tickets, memorabilia and collector’s items as well as gift cards from restaurants, movie theatres, gourmet food markets, toy stores, hair/nail salons and popular stores. An American Idol contestant, Gurpreet Singh Sarin will also be in attendance.
Teams are now forming to support TEAM SAIJ. “Money for Muscle” is a group of area youth who are committing to performing 10 – 100 repetitions of a fitness challenge of their choice. They are raising funds through individual sponsorships by jumping rope, pushups, hula hoop and basketball hoops. The fitness challenge will be held on April 7 at Big Pines Park, 13900 Travilah Road, North Potomac.
Tickets are $50 child/student, $100 adults, $250 family pack (2 adults/2 children/students) or for $500 buy your own lane (6-8 people). Raffle tickets are $10 (2 tickets) $20 (5 tickets) $50 (15 tickets) $100 (35 tickets). Buyers of the raffle tickets do not need to be present to win.
“TEAM SAIJ – Simply the Best was inspired by the love of a little boy and the decision of four family members to run the NYC marathon in 2010 in an effort to raise awareness and generate funds directly towards finding a cure for DMD,” said Vicky Singh. From running the marathon, they raised $17,000. Now they are dedicated to raising these crucial funds with their Bowl-A Thon. “Simply the Best” comes from the Tina Turner song which she and Saij sing to one another for hope and inspiration.
The mission of TEAM SAIJ is “to fund and accelerate research of potentially life-saving and disease altering drugs to help this generation of boys affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Basically, to stop Duchenne before it stops our boys.” Team Saij is currently helping to fund researchers at Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy Krieger Institute to work on Skeletal Muscle Tissue Engineering
To learn more about TEAM SAIJ – Simply the Best, to buy tickets, raffle tickets or to make a donation, go to www.teamsaij.org.