Magnet Cove students run for toddler’s fundraiser

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published January 17, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated January 16, 2013 at 1:18 p.m.
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PHOTO BY: Curt Youngblood

From the left, Adam Davidson, Austin Paul, Jakeb Dickey, Corey Dennison and Zach Garrett ran a 100-mile relay to raise money for Carson Standridge, a child with Mucopolysaccharidosis. The group raised more than $10,000 to help pay for a bone-marrow transplant for Carson.

— While most high school students were itching to get a start on their Christmas break, a group of “not so typical” teens from Magnet Cove High School was raising money to help Carson Standridge’s family with her medical expenses.

Austin Taul, 16; Jakeb Dickey, 17; Adam Davidson, 16; Zach Garrett, 18; and Corey Dennison, 18, put together an event called 100 Miles for Carson to help the family with expenses for a trip to Minnesota for Carson to receive a bone-marrow transplant.

15-month-old Carson has a diagnosis of mucopolysaccharidosis, also known as Hurler syndrome. Trish

McClendon, Carson’s mother, said the disease means her daughter doesn’t have the enzyme needed to rid her body of waste that cells produce. Carson currently undergoes

enzyme-replacement therapy every week at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

McClendon said the best treatment for the syndrome is a bone-marrow transplant, which isn’t available at Children’s Hospital.

“It was really overwhelming to think that this group of guys wanted to do this for us,” McClendon said. “It really touched my heart to know that there are really good kids out there.”

The students from Magnet Cove were inspired by Carson and her story.

“[We realized] all of the stuff that she’s going to have to overcome,” Dickey said, “and we realized that we had the ability to help.”

The five teens, who are football players and members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at their high school, pledged to run 100 miles for Carson at their high school’s football stadium on Dec. 15. The event took the five of them 13 hours and 23 minutes and 400 laps around the track to complete.

More than $11,000 was raised to cover the trip to Minnesota and medical expenses for Carson and her family. The original goal was $10,000, and the students said they were more than happy about surpassing that original goal.

As the number of laps to finish grew smaller, fatigue grew stronger, but the student athletes pushed through the pain and completed the 100 miles. They pulled Carson in her wagon on the last lap of the day.

“You can accomplish

anything if you put your mind to it,” Taul said.

Shane Hartsell, a teacher at Magnet Cove High School and the sponsor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said he is proud of the group for completing the event.

“These guys are going to be successful in whatever they end up doing,” Hartsell said. “They’re going to be able to tackle whatever comes their way.”

McClendon and Carson will travel to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital on Jan. 31 to begin the process of Carson’s bone-marrow transplant.

“I can’t be more thankful,” McClendon said.

Staff Writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at

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