John Kerr was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the age of eighteen months he was diagnosed with the neuromuscular disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This is a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy that attacks the motor neurons in the spinal cord and directly affects the functionality of his muscles. Never able to sit up independently or crawl, John received his first electric wheelchair on his fifth birthday. This newfound independence buoyed John into a life that was no different than that of his peers.
With a diagnosis like Muscular Dystrophy, you may think that John has not lived a normal life, but he has lived a very normal life. Growing up he was fully involved with his friends and in school. He was involved with the sports within his high school as the PA announcer for the boys basketball, baseball and track teams, and he was awarded a lettermen’s jacket. When he was younger John met Michael Jordan through the Make-A- Wish Foundation. This would later go on to inspire him in life when he saw in a Sports Illustrated Magazine that Michael Jordan created his own foundation, and at that time decided that he would create his own foundation. One that would benefit those that have Muscular Dystrophy.
The John Kerr Foundation was created to help individuals with Muscular Dystrophy. Already having given out two scholarships, totaling nearly $2,000; he has also taken a young lady to see the Kings Basketball Team in Portland and bought driving equipment so that a young man could drive. John Kerr wants to keep raising enough money to continue doing this.
For the future John would like to expand what he is currently doing, not only giving scholarships and helping individuals, but also to create a summer camp for children and young adults with Muscular Dystrophy. He already has the location set in Yosemite, CA at a campground which features trails accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. As part of the summer camp, John wants to have both physical and mental activities, a pool with wheelchair access and adaptive soccer and other sports. He envisions arts and crafts for the artistically inclined, and a campfire where the children can exchange stories. This summer camp will also have seminars on how the youth can lead a fulfilled life, such as his own. He will teach and show them that they can be independent, have goals and aspirations as well as hold a job within society.
In order to offer a camp with such wonderful opportunities for the children, John Kerr will have to raise between $40-$50,000. This is a very reachable goal. John would like to launch the new summer camp in 2012.
The John Kerr Foundation has been doing fundraisers since 2006, and is currently planning this year’s largest fundraiser, a Food and Wine Tasting. This year he will be holding his 4th Annual Food & Wine Tasting on Saturday May 21st at The Clunie Hall inside McKinley Park. The event will start at 5:30pm. For more information on the event or on John Kerr, please visit www.johnkerrfoundation.org.
Disclosure: Ray Bacon is Event Designer for Royal Events, responsible for planning and marketing this event.