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 us. We began to do more races and more women joined us. We laughed, pushed, sweated, and cared for one another through training, and when Ryan Darby was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of 2009, we sprung into action to support our racing friend, Mollie and her family. Since his name is Ryan, we decided to change our group name to JUST TRYAN IT in his honor.
In the spring of 2010, JUST TRYAN IT was established as a 501(c)3 foundation. Our mission is to positively impact the lives of families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer by providing them with financial assistance. We strive to instill the importance of philanthropy and service, promote wellness, and inspire tomorrow’s leaders to make a difference in their communities.
The initial fundraising initiative was a children’s triathlon — this initiative continues today. Through our triathlons, we empower 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 – instilling in them the importance of service to others, fostering empathy, and the power of shared philanthropy. Concurrently, we partner with generous individuals, corporations and foundations that support our mission through the JUST TRYAN IT Family Assistance Fund.
JUST TRYAN IT continues to grow, allowing us to reach more families in need. To help maximize our reach, in 2016, JUST TRYAN IT made a strategic decision to form a partnership with Family Reach, a national non-profit based in Boston, Massachusetts. Family Reach provides the critical infrastructure and scale we need to accomplish several important goals:
- Maximize the amount of money that we give
- Minimize the wait time for families
- Consolidate the reporting of our overall impact
- Increase the number of our hospital partners
- Focus on hosting safe and memorable children’s triathlons to help local families
- Continue to foster a philanthropic spirit in our young racers and volunteers
- Provide additional benefits to the patient families that we serve (financial planning, guidance, and support)
We are a proud to be an affiliate of Family Reach and join with other non-profits from across the country to fight cancer related financial toxicity (CRFT). We are truly, stronger together.