The Full Story
Our son Reef was born 9 weeks early on June 17, 2016. We spent 62 days in the UCDavis NICU, during which Reef was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition that blocks the flow of spinal fluid in the brain requiring a shunt to be placed. On July 13, 2016, Reef had his first brain surgery to place a shunt in his right ventricle. That day marked the beginning of the journey we never expected. Before Reef was 17 months old he had 5 shunt malfunctions, requiring an additional 5 brain surgeries and a second shunt to be placed.
In January of 2018, we decided we didn't want our friends to put together a GoFundMe and instead started dreaming of ways to raise awareness and funds to help all those in need. We officially started our own nonprofit 501(c)3 - Reef's Race for a Cure Foundation - in April of 2019!
On Sunday, September 9, 2018, we hosted our 1st annual Reef’s Run for Hydrocephalus Awareness. We raised over $17,000 for our first run! All proceeds went to the Hydrocephalus Association which is actively searching for a cure for hydrocephalus.
245 of you joined us on September 8, 2019, for our 2nd Annual Reef's Run, and another 50+ came down for our silent auction!! Thank you all for your amazing support and generosity. We raised over $38,000, which was more than double our first year! We were also fortunate enough to be able to donate over $10,000 to local families in need. We sincerely appreciate all the outpouring of love and support!
2020 and 2021 gave us all some twists and turns. The California and Nevada wildfires postponed, and ultimately made Reef's Run go completely virtual in 2020, and we were evacuated and we postponed again in 2021. That didn't stop us from getting out and raising awareness and money for those in need. Our first-ever online auction was also a success! Thank you to our sponsors, donors, participants, and everyone who helped us to raise over $24,000 in 2020 and $37,000 in 2021!!
Once again, the California and Nevada wildfire season proved to be a challenge in 2022. The run looked like it would be a go, with the AQI at only 67 the night before the run, however during the night the winds shifted and the AQI shot up to 485. The decision was made at 5:00 am on race day to set up a modified 1-mile run and postpone by 2 hours in the hopes that the air quality would be more favorable, or they could at least hold their silent auction. More than half of the registered runners still joined, and five minutes into their 5th Annual Reef's Run a bubble of clear sky blanketed the venue, taking the AQI from 189 to 38 until the end of the event. They were able to raise over $44,000 last year thanks to their sponsors, volunteers, and a community that won't give up.
This year we will hold our 6th Annual Reef's Run on Sunday, September 10th, 2023. This unique event will spread smiles, a sense of community, and a winning spirit. This event will not only raise awareness for hydrocephalus, which affects 1-2 in every 1,000 babies born, but it will also help to raise funds to support research for a much-needed cure. The only treatment for hydrocephalus is brain surgery and 36,000 operations are performed annually, that’s one every 15 minutes! Join us in the search for a cure!
Racers are encouraged to wear costumes, in Hydrocephalus Blue, on this 5K Fun Run / Walk / Stroll through picturesque Lake Tahoe.
Our mission is to help raise awareness for a condition most have never heard of before. My son, as well as all the other children and adults with hydrocephalus, deserve a cure. A tomorrow free from the fear that their shunt may malfunction at any moment. Help us fight for their better tomorrows.
Together with our sponsors, volunteers, and our amazing community, we are able to come together in an incredible show of support for all those with hydrocephalus and their families. The outpouring of love and support we have received since starting Reef's Run has been incredible and heartwarming. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by friends, family, and a community who would do anything for one another.
All of the proceeds from Reef's Run go to charitable foundations actively seeking a cure for Hydrocephalus, charities helping families in need, non-profits, and directly to families in need on a word-of-mouth basis. Together we can help find a cure.