There are many fun fall festivals and events scheduled in the St. Louis area next weekend, but Washington University in St. Louis Play-By-Play Broadcaster Jay Murry will miss them all. Instead he is dedicating his time to help with a charity cause that has touched his heart. In an attempt to raise funds and awareness for Retts Syndrome, he will attempt to complete an unusual doubleheader on Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 13-14. 

First, at Francis Field, he will call the WashU home football game vs. No. 13-ranked Wheaton College (Ill.) Saturday 1 p.m., followed by a solo 24-hour run/walk at 6 p.m. to raise awareness and research funds for the fight against Rett syndrome. would like to encourage any readers who feel so inclined to donate to his cause. Imagine how hard that will be to run/walk for 24 hours yourself and it is not even for a cause that has touched him or his family. Murry  didn’t even know about Rett syndrome until he met Ellie McCool, a student at Fort Zumwalt West High School five years ago. Murry was inspired by Ellie’s odyssey, and set out to create an opportunity to try and help her and others regain what Rett took away.

Ellie has faced the challenges of Rett syndrome with grace and grit, and she was able to graduate two years ago as a result of her determination.

The 24-hour run/walk will be conducted at the Sumers Recreation Center indoor track until 6 p.m. Sunday; and proceeds will be split evenly between and the Rett Spectrum Clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The fundraising goal for the event is $20,000.

Murry is entering his 10th year as the “Voice of the Bears”, and he is using his first attempt at a 24-hour solo ultramarathon to bring attention to Rett syndrome—a disorder that takes away the physical abilities primarily of young girls, just as they begin to learn how to crawl and walk.

He first considered the concept of the unique 24-hour Rett Syndrome Gets Rocked challenge last November, as a way to combine the personal goal of doing a 24-hour ultramarathon with a desire to bring more attention to a little-known but very devastating medical condition. As a result, Rett Syndrome Gets Rocked will be conducted during the heart of Rett Syndrome Awareness Month in October.

A non-inherited gene mutation creates the onset of Rett typically between 6-18 months old, and those who get it quickly become unable to move purposefully. Many of them also cannot speak or gesture; and other health problems like seizures, eating difficulties, and scoliosis often occur. Those with Rett syndrome have actively functioning minds, but their compromised physical structures make it nearly impossible for them to communicate—making Rett a source of heartbreak for patients and their families.

Hope on the horizon—aggressive research is being coordinated by and conducted at prestigious facilities around the country like the Rett Spectrum Clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. As a result, there are four compounds being tested that could possibly be used in medical treatments to alleviate some of the daily health problems caused by Rett syndrome. And, the gene mutation that causes Rett syndrome has been isolated and identified, allowing researchers to pinpoint their efforts toward the re-engineering of the gene and a subsequent cure of Rett.

A child-- like the little girl shown with her mother-- who will become afflicted with Rett syndrome is born every two hours worldwide; so, while Jay circles the Sumers indoor track for 24 hours -- 12 children who are born will develop Rett. And, there are an estimated 200,000 people around the world who have the non-inherited disorder. Despite those statistics, many people aren’t aware of Rett’s existence.

Since football season is here, Murry uses a football analogy to describe the progress of the battle against Rett syndrome: “We’re inside the Rett syndrome red zone, and there are great researchers at the skilled positions ready to take the ball across the goal line for a cure. But, they need an offensive line—donors like you and me—to help pave the way.”

For more information on Rett Syndrome go to their website: Rett syndrome causes problems in brain function that are responsible for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor and autonomic function. These can include learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function, and even chewing, swallowing, and digestion.

The donation page at the website:

Jay Murray is shown, left with Washington University Assistant AD for Communications, Chris Mitchell. 

Follow Murry’s 24-hour run on social media:

Rett Syndrome Gets Rocked (@24hourjaymurry)

Twitter: @JayMurryPBP