Hike for Hope is Sunday at Buttermilk | AspenTimes.com

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Hike for Hope is Sunday at Buttermilk

ASPEN – The 7th annual Hike for Hope will be held at Buttermilk at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

The event was started in 2005 by Bob and Carole Sharp of Aspen to raise funds to help seek a cure for muscular dystrophy. Their son, Ian, a junior at Aspen High School, has Becker Muscular Dystrophy. It’s a slightly less severe form of the better known Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The life expectancy of the affected boys is the late teens and early 20s, so pharmaceutical companies haven’t invested much in a cure because profits are limited, Bob Sharp said.

The Sharps started the Hike for Hope in 2005 as a way to raise funds for a leading researcher, Dr. Brian Tseng of Harvard. They want to see a cure found within their son’s lifetime.

The hike will be at the base of Main Buttermilk. Registration will be available from 6 to 7:15 a.m. for folks who haven’t pre-registered. There is no extra charge for same-day registration. A minimum donation of $25 is required. That includes door prizes and prizes for top finishers. The Cliff House at the mountain top will offer a $5 pancake breakfast, which isn’t included in the race fee.

Ian will be at the event, but in a low-key role. He captures the scene with a video camera.

“We try not to make it about Ian,” Sharp said. “It’s about the disease and the research.”

Other events raise more funds for research, but the Hike for Hope has a good feel to it, Sharp said. It can be a race or a leisurely walk up the mountain. Lots of families participate.

“It truly has a community feel to it,” Sharp said.

All proceeds go for research. Hike for Hope Foundation is a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization. More on the event and the foundation can be found at http://www.hikeforhopemd.com/event-info.html.

The Sharps learned Ian had Becker Muscular Dystrophy when he was age 10. He is now 17. While many young men are in a wheelchair at his age because of muscle wasting, Ian is not. He was skiing at Buttermilk Friday on a vacation day, taking video of friends skiing and riding. Bob Sharp said the disease hasn’t ruined his son’s passion for skiing, even though degeneration of his quad muscles makes it tough for him to bend his knees.

“He’s doing well and maintaining,” his dad said.