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Friday, August 1, 2014

Celebrating Success of Team CMT

Success isn't just about what you accomplish in your life, it is about what you inspire others to do."- unknown
When you are a CMT affected athlete you have to define success differently. Success isn't about how fast you can finish a race. It isn't about your placement compared to other athletes. Althought some of us are very successful in that regard.

It isn't about what race you participate in although we have those measures of success as well.

We have 4 current and former team members that have qualified for the Boston Marathon. Two members ran this year's race.  We count National Champions in para-cycling, paraduation and paratriathon among our members. We have four CMT affected athletes on the team that have completed the Ironman triathlon.

As a team we have grown to 151 members in 30 states. We also have members in Canada, Finland, Vietnam, Turkey, Australia and Iran.  Our youngest members are still in grade school.
On most any weekend we have team members wearing our Team CMT uniform in runs, rides, races and workouts.

The real miracle of this team is what we inspire in others. There is the obvious. The MDA and the CMTA saw our success and started teams of their own.

But there is inspiration even more important. When I met Team CMT member CJ before the Boston Marathon she told me " I did not know it was possible until I saw you do it."  That is what our Team CMT members do. We show others with CMT that they can lead full and active lives. We show them that exercise does not accelerate CMT. I've seen the conversations change on Facebook from saying exercise is bad to "What kind of exercise can I do? or What exercise are you all doing?"  That is due directly to the example of the members of this team and I am so proud of them. They have over come unbelievable obstacles to be active. They brave those challenges to raise awareness and to help find a cure.

Team CMT at Bike New York

When I met with the HNF to discuss a partnership I was impressed by Allison Moore's vision and committment to exercise.  She is a visionary that shared our vision of raising awareness through athletic events.  She shared our goal of inspiring and educating through athletic events.  Most of us with CMT have heard those with CMT can't exercise or shouldn't exercise. The CMTA told one of our members they did not want a team because people with CMT can't run. I didn't ask permission. They told me they only knew of two athletes with CMT, me and a female triathlete in England.

Well we have over two dozen CMT affected athletes. We are leading the way to raise awareness. Raising awareness is the first step to finding treatments and a cure.  I am proud to say we have raised $30,000 for CMT research and hope to raise much more.  We are joined by countless family members and friends. Your support means more than I can ever express.

Thank you to our friends and family

My coach told me this morning she sees our local Wisconsin team members every time she is at an event. She said others have told her they have been inspired to be more active. If they can do it so can I, she was told.

How incredible that is to know that is being repeated over and over. We inspire and will continue to inspire. Now I call  that success worth celebrating. Thank you Team CMT members.  I am so proud to be a small part of our effort!


Chris Wodke at 2014 Boston Marathon
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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