Participants run in the 2015 Run for CRIT. Credit: Courtesy / CRIT-USA

The Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletónUSA (CRIT-USA) is holding its second annual Run for CRIT on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 a.m at Heroes Stadium. The proceeds from the 1k, 5k, and 10k races will go toward medical treatment costs for the families who use the center, where medical professionals invest an average of $15,000 per child.

Since opening the first location of its kind in the United States in Oct. 2014, CRIT-USA’s mission has been to “celebrate the dignity of every individual, serving children with neurological, muscular, and skeletal disabilities and their families through an integrated and state-of-the-art rehabilitation program that empowers patients to reach their full potential with inclusion to society regardless of their ability to pay.”

CRIT-USA currently serves more than 600 families nationwide from its Northeast side facility close to Morgan’s Wonderland in delivering medical pediatric rehabilitation services to differently abled children. The organization is run by the TeletónUSA Foundation, which has operated 22 similar centers throughout Mexico for the past 20 year. To date, CRIT-USA has served more than 40 U.S. states and has ambitious plans to expand into every state in the future.

The organization takes a family-centered approach to medical care, where medical professionals and the patients’ families regularly sit down to discuss treatment. Children have access to a variety of medical professionals, including pediatricians, neurological specialists, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and, most recently, genetic therapists.

Responding to questions from the Rivard Report via email, CRIT-USA Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Fund Development Ruth Medellin said that the run raises important funds to support CRIT-USA’s unique methods of care.

“Run proceeds allow the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute to continue care for patients and their families via community support which will greatly advance therapeutic and educational offerings for children from birth to 18 years of age,” she stated. “We encourage everyone to join us as champions for children with disabilities helping us achieve our goal of building a society of inclusion for all children.”

Last year, the run raised more than $18,000.

Executive Director Ricardo Guzmán stated that the nonprofit is one of a kind.

“We provide a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind model of culturally relevant care and counseling that uses innovative pediatric research and rehabilitation practices that are changing the way disability treatment facilities perceive, treat, and integrate culturally diverse children with muscular, neurological, and skeletal disabilities and prepare them and their families for a more inclusionary role in society.”

Registration fees for the 1k, 5k, and 10k are $15, $30, and $35, respectively. To learn more about CRIT-USA, the race, and to register by Dec. 8, click here.

James McCandless

Former intern James McCandless is a recent St. Mary's University graduate. He has worked with the San Antonio Current and Texas Public Radio.