The Mike L. Jezdimir Transverse Myelitis Foundation will host the 2nd Annual Run 4 Mike, a 5K run and 1-mile fun run to support research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for nontraumatic spinal cord diseases such as transverse myelitis and multiple sclerosis.
The run begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 12, at Veterans Park in Alabaster. Gina Harris McDonald of the TV show “The Biggest Loser” will be present, along with UAB physicians involved in TM and MS research and treatment.
TM is a rare inflammatory disease causing injury to the spinal cord. Attacks of inflammation can damage or destroy myelin, the fatty insulating substance that covers nerve cell fibers. This damage causes nervous system scars that interrupt communications between the nerves in the spinal cord and the rest of the body. TM occurs in adults and children, and peak incidence rates occur between the ages of 10-19 and 30-39 years. Approximately one-third of those with TM get better and return to their baseline. Another third will have some changes to their body that will affect them the rest of their life. The final third are left with some type of permanent disability.
Mike Jezdimir developed TM in 1967. The foundation supports TM research at UAB in eight disciplines: rehabilitation, neurology, microbiology, cell/developmental/integrative biology, psychiatry/behavioral neurobiology, neurobiology, neuropathology, and clinical immunology/rheumatology.