In the winter of 2007, a group of women got together and began running. After nine months of training, all of the women completed the Iron Girl triathlon in Columbia, MD under the team name “Just Tri It”. This was a first for all of them. They began to do more races and more women joined the group. They laughed, sweated, and cared for one another through training. When Ryan Darby was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of 2009, the group sprung into action to support their racing friend, Mollie and her family. Since his name is Ryan, they changed the group name to JUST TRYAN IT in his honor.
Mollie spent weeks in the hospital with Ryan and during that time she saw many kids in their rooms alone. Their parents could not take time off of work to stay in the hospital because they were worried about losing their job and health insurance. Mollie and her family had the support of many friends and family who wanted to help. Dr. Aziza Shad, Ryan’s doctor, suggested they raise money to support those families who were struggling financially while their child was in treatment and did not have family support. Carrie Norry answered this call to action, leading the JUST TRYAN IT women to help.
In the spring of 2010 JUST TRYAN IT was established as a 501(c)3. JTI was founded to positively impact the lives of families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer by providing them with financial assistance. The founders wanted to engage kids in helping other kids. Through the children’s triathlons, JTI empowers healthy kids to help other kids in their community by seeking out pledges and raising awareness of the many struggles facing families with sick children. The initial fundraising initiative was a children’s triathlon — this initiative continues today. That first year the goal was to raise $10,000 from the event…they raised $67,000!
Carrie Norry served as JUST TRYAN IT’s Executive Director through its first ten years. She grew the organization from one event supporting one hospital to a thriving organization supporting hundreds of families in treatment across eight partner hospitals in four states. She passed the torch in the fall of 2019, leaving a strong foundation for the future success of JUST TRYAN IT.