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Annual Race to Raise Concussion Awareness Honors Fallen Jaguar


On Saturday more than 240 runners and walkers will participate in the Fourth Annual Derek Sheely LEAD THE WAY Four Mile Run and One-mile Walk to raise funds to support concussion awareness and honor former Northwest student athlete Derek Thomson Sheely, who died in August 2011, at the age of 22, after a traumatic brain injury suffered at football practice while playing at Frostburg State University.

The race will begin at Northwest High School on Saturday, May 30 and travel some local roads on the four mile circuit back to the track at Northwest.

Since his death, Derek’s parents have formed The Derek Sheely Foundation to increase awareness and research of concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

“Funds raised from the race directly impact our concussion awareness efforts, including our Concussion Awareness Kits and the Derek Thomson Sheely Leadership Award and Scholarship,” said Kristen Sheely, Derek’s mother and the executive director of the foundation which bares his name.

“We have distributed more than 6,000 kits in 15 states, educating young athletes and their families about the signs, symptoms, and dangers of traumatic brain injuries. Telling Derek's story is key to educating people so kids can continue to enjoy sports while ensuring concussions are recognized and reported so proper treatment can begin ASAP,” said Sheely.

Sheely said foundation hopes to have more than 240 runners and walkers participate in Saturday’s event and surpass $50,000 in total donations raised in the four years the race has been held.

“The race begins and ends at Northwest High School in Germantown where Derek went to school and was a captain on the 2006 football team,” said Sheely.

Day of race registration will be held from 6:45 to 7:45 am on Saturday, May 30 with the race starting at 8:00 am. The race fee is $40.

All walkers and runners will receive a medal at the finish and there will be music, free food, and more than $1,000 in door prizes. In addition there are prizes for the overall men's and women's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers.