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For the second year in a row, the Levine Jewish Community Center will host a kids' triathlon to benefit rehabilitation programs at Levine Children’s Hospital. Last year’s triathlon raised more than $35,000 and provided kids with the opportunity to showcase their athletic skills.
The Charlotte Observer profiled one of the young athletes, 7-year-old Jake Hofacker, who has a rare blood-vessel disorder called moyamoya. Jake’s parents learned about the triathlon through Carolinas HealthCare System’s Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program which provides recreational and competitive sports opportunities for kids and adults with physical disabilities.
Jake has participated in the program for 2 ½ years and was one of 10 participants from ASAP in last year’s triathlon. His mother, Ellis Straley, said Jake’s attitude is inspirational.
"Jake was the last one to finish the race," said Straley, "but he thought it was great."
With the support of friends, family and his parent’s co-workers, Jake was the top fundraiser: As such, he and his family will go on a Disney World trip in June for a three-night stay with Park Hopper passes, courtesy of Mann Travels.
“I find him incredibly motivational,” said Straley.
She said Jake’s attitude is: “OK, I got sick. Now it’s time to get over it.”