On February 26, 2001, 18 year old, Devaughn Darling lost his life due to exhaustion during spring football practice at Florida State University. He would leave his identical twin brother, Devard Darling to live on and fulfill their shared dream to play professional football. Devard would persevere and not only make it to the NFL but also establish the As One Foundation, in memory of Devaughn. Both twins carry the sickle cell trait, which alone is no real threat to the 8% of people of color born in America. But, coupled with physical rigor and lack of hydration, could be fatal. In other words, Devaughn’s death was preventable.
Marking the 19th anniversary of Devaughn’s death, Darling Dash 5k revenue will help fund the As One Foundation’s scholarship fund and efforts to prevent future deaths of young athletes by promoting sickle cell trait awareness through Operation Hydration that encourages hydration as prevention of athletic or fitness related death – especially in sickle cell trait carriers.
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