Wyatt Niemann

Wyatt Niemann

BROOKINGS — The Shepherd’s Shuffle Charity 5K and 1-mile walk will be Sept. 29 at 7 a.m. at the Research Park at South Dakota State University (2301 Research Park Way) in Brookings, S.D. The event is in conjunction with the South Dakota Sheep Growers Annual Convention. All proceeds go to The Shepherd’s Gift: GM1 for HD, a charity whose mission is getting GM1 into clinical trials for Huntington’s disease (HD) and other neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Join us for a quick loop around the research park for the 1-mile walk or add a trip through the beautiful McCrory Gardens Arboretum for the 5K. The first 100 registered will receive wool running socks donated by FARM to FEET. There are also “ghost runner” and donation options if you can’t be there. Select a fun t-shirt as an apparel item. Prizes will be awarded to the first place male and female 5K finishers. New this year we will have a silent auction and quilt raffle. The beautiful quilt is a country pheasant theme hand crafted by local quilter, Diane Culver.

Register at https://www.allsportcentral.com/EventInfo.cfm?EventID=67314 (search “shepherd’s shuffle”). The cost of registration per individual is $35 through 9/24 and $45 for late registration 9/25-9/29. Families are welcome! Children under 8, when accompanied by a registered parent who has signed a waiver, can participate for free. Early packet pick up and late registration is on Sept. 28, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the South Dakota Livestock Pavilion in Brookings in conjunction with the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association Annual Convention. You are welcome to stay for the evening “Lamb Lover’s Social.” Cost is $15 payable that evening. Race Day packet pick up and late registration is at the Research Park at SDSU facility from 6:00-6:45 a.m.

The Shepherd’s Shuffle is dedicated to Wyatt Niemann, a Watertown High School freshman, who is living with juvenile Huntington’s disease. Wyatt continues to be active at school, even though he needs an assistant, and in the community. He plays the tambourine in the marching band from a wheelchair, has earned his Life Scout rank, competes in Destination Imagination, and volunteers at the Watertown Zoo. HD has been called the cruelest disease known to man and described as Parkinson’s, ALS and Alzheimer’s all rolled into one disease. GM1 ganglioside shows great promise for halting the progression of HD and possibly reversing symptoms. GM1 is a natural molecule found in brain cells of all mammals which protects and regenerates neurons. HD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients are deficient in GM1. A special genetic line of sheep, that have GM1 gangliosidosis, accumulate GM1 in levels 40 times normal and can be the replacement source of this essential protection needed for the brain cells of these patients. Help The Shepherd’s Gift get GM1 into clinical trials and to the families desperately in need of a treatment! We know the potential benefit GM1 holds for HD and other diseases, but the missing component is the funds needed to get FDA approval for human clinical trials. Join us to celebrate Wyatt, as sheep producer families strive to help improve the quality of life for HD families. Working together we can make a difference! For more information visit www.shepherdsgift.org.

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