CrossFitters aren’t big on giving up, so when Kurtis Bowler discovered his son Casey has a condition called Fragile X, he fought back.
Bowler is the owner of Rainier CrossFit and a strongman competitor, so he decided to fight fragile X with fitness. In 2006, he organized Rainier CrossFit’s Strongest Man and Woman contest to raise money for Fraxa, a research foundation working on treatments and a cure for fragile X, sometimes also referred to as Martin-Bell syndrome. The most recent competition was held Aug. 1, 2009, in Sumner, Wash., and to date Bowler’s contest has raised $25,000.
Fragile X is the most common inherited cause of mental impairment, and symptoms can include everything from mood disorders to learning disabilities to seizures and beyond. Fragile X is also a common cause of autism. The condition is hereditary and can be traced back to one gene (FMR1) that was identified in 1991.
In Part 1 of this two-part series, Bowler talks about his son’s condition and the challenges Casey faces.
To learn more about Fraxa’s research strategy, visit Fraxa.org.
Video by Again Faster.
Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 87, originally aired Oct. 2, 2009.