Jared Blank is bringing awareness to Dyslexia, seven marathons at a time.

The task of running seven marathons by itself seems daunting, but imagine taking on that task in only seven days—on seven different continents. This is the World Marathon Challenge that Jared Blank has taken on to bring awareness to dyslexia. Diagnosed at the age of 5, Blank understands the stress and anxiety that accompanies the learning disorder. That is why he has committed to match the $50,000 it costs to run the race to donate to the International Dyslexia Association. As a child, he struggled in school and was told in elementary school that he probably would not graduate high school. However, he has since obtained 3 degrees—a BA and MA from University of Southern California (USC) and a MBA from Seattle Pacific University. He truly believes that nobody can define his future but himself.

Before taking on the challenge of a lifetime, Blank worked 14 seasons in collegiate football, both at University of Washington and as Director of Football Operations and Player Development at USC. However, Blank’s choice to leave this job to pursue the World Marathon Challenge is not unusual for him. Blank says that it is his love for a challenge that has enabled him to get where he is today. Conquering dyslexia was not an easy task-- it took perseverance and support from his family. Now, he uses this determination and self-confidence to take on the next challenge that comes his way. He says in an article, “Dyslexia gave me the ability to learn to suffer, and there’s a little bit of passion in that when it comes to running.” It was actually running that offered him an escape to the everyday stresses of his dyslexia, and it quickly became an integral part of his life.

Blank’s main goal of raising awareness and funds for the International Dyslexia Association is to help dyslexic students like himself realize they are not alone, and that their learning challenges do not define them. He says on his online journal, “By bringing this story to the surface, my hope is that others can connect with it and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

You can read more about Jared Blank’s journey on his website, inmotional.run. You can contribute to his fundraising efforts for the International Dyslexia Association here.