The McMullens’ Rally to Relay

The two relay teams - the McMullens family members and their extended family - say thank you to supporters at the end of the relay marathon.The two relay teams (the McMullens family members and their extended
family) say thank you to supporters at the end of the relay marathon.

Mary McMullen lost her battle with PH in August 2012. As a special education teacher, she had dedicated her life to helping others. The McMullens say they feel a strong responsibility to carry on Mary’s legacy. Her family — husband, Tim, and children, Erin, Timmy and Eddie — ran the Baltimore Running Festival marathon as a relay team in her memory. A second relay team of extended family members also ran and helped raise funds in Mary’s memory.

For the McMullens, fundraising was very rewarding: “It gave our family and friends something we could rally behind in a time when we were grieving.” In a few short weeks, the McMullens exceeded their original goal of $5,000, and as we go to print, they’ve raised more than $10,500 for PHA.

Through email and Facebook posts, the entire McMullen clan was able to reach family, friends, coworkers and even former classmates, some of whom they hadn’t spoken to in years. The McMullen children say, “The nice thing about Facebook is our friends would repost our updates, spreading the word to other people we may not have reached.”

Erin, Timmy and Eddie say, “Fundraising gave us perspective of what a large support system we have. And it gave us the opportunity to learn more about our mother through all of the people’s lives she touched.

“We would definitely recommend fundraising to anyone. It helps educate individuals about PH. PH is a real-life issue, and we wish we were more educated about it prior to our mother suffering. If you are thinking about fundraising, go out and do it. People are more willing to lend support than you think. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers, and don’t hesitate to reach out to those you may have lost touch with.”


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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.