Hanna Helwig

Team Captain Team Eli Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Support Me

My name is Hanna and I have the distinct honor of being Eli's Aunt. 

For all of the details on Eli's journey, please visit our Team Page. On this page, I'd like to share how Eli's story has impacted my life in countless ways. 

When I first learned of Eli's diagnosis, I was angry. I was devastated. And I was bitter. It’s hard to describe how painful it is to watch someone you love so deeply go through something as awful as this and not have the ability to change any of it.

But, Eli's parents (the Petermans), had a different reaction. They thought -- there must be a reason. It’s extremely difficult to hold onto faith and hope when they are so tested, but the Petermans have strongly held onto both. They fiercely advocate for Eli on a daily basis and have given up so much to ensure he gets the care that he deserves. I’ve never been more proud of them.  

Eli has taught me so much about this crazy thing called life. He inspires me daily to live in the moment, to be thankful, to never take anything for granted, to celebrate every small win, and to never stop smiling through the pain. Eli’s been through more in his short three years than anyone should ever have to. But he hasn’t, and the Petermans haven’t, let this disease define him. Because it’s not his disease or his disability – it’s his story and his purpose. Even on the hardest days, following the Petermans’ brave lead, we are comforted in the fact that this happened for a reason. 

Whatever the reason, we know Eli’s story is inspiring people every day and that has been the absolute best part about these last three years. 

And that's why I run. To share Eli's story. To raise funds for research that will one day eradicate this horrible disease. To find strength and community for the darkest days. To honor all those whose lives have been impacted by muscle-debilitating disease. To keep that adorable smile on my nephew's face. And simply because I have the ability to.

Your donation will help save and improve the lives of individuals with muscular dystrophy like Eli. Thanks in part to MDA Team Momentum participants and donors, the MDA anticipates more new treatments in development during the next five years than in the previous five decades combined. Let’s keep and build this momentum!

Please consider making a donation to support me and Eli today. Thank you in advance for your support! It means the world to us.