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The Magic Foundation

Mission

The MAGIC Foundation is a national non-profit organization created to provide support services for the families of children afflicted with a wide variety of chronic and/or critical disorders, syndromes and diseases that affect a child’s growth.

Since its inception the Foundation has grown to include support services for adults who were also impacted by these disorders.

Vision

Our commitment and vision is, to reduce the emotional and physical trauma caused by growth disorders, resulting in healthier, happier children and consequently, adults.

Our Motto: Children have a short time to grow and a lifetime to live with the results!©

History

This imaginary scenario is the harsh reality that thousands of parents face each day: Because we lived through it alone- MAGIC was born.

Say you take your child to the doctor because he just doesn’t seem to be growing right. He/she might be a picky eater. You try to push your concerns away by thinking well grandma was kind of small. But something deep inside you keeps nagging at you-telling you that something is not right. And so...just to be sure...you make an appointment with your child’s doctor.

Suddenly, you find yourself shocked as you hear, "Mr. and Mrs. Miller, I believe your son has a medical condition called (for example) Growth Hormone Deficiency. This is a rare disorder. And frankly I've never had another patient with this, so I’d like for him to see a specialist.”  As a parent what do you do? Well I’ll tell you what we did-we went into parental protection overdrive! All senses were on high alert....panic, fear and confusion.

For us there was no MAGIC Foundation, but thankfully we did eventually find each other. We had children with Growth Hormone Deficiency. Three of us were from Illinois, one from California and the other from Oklahoma. We ran our phone bills through the roof, sharing details about our children’s medical treatments. We were our own self-made support group. We all studied, researched, and contacted everyone we could.

Little did we realize that our daily calls were the beginning of what would, one year later, become The MAGIC Foundation. We were legally incorporated October 29, 1989 in the state of Illinois. And recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the IRS. The humble "early days" forged the path of what is now recognized as:

The world's largest organization for growth related disorders.

During the first year, we developed our first medical brochure. Naturally it pertained to Growth Hormone Deficiency. We also developed a computer database combining all of the data we had amassed from our research the previous year. We included a physician referral database, patient networking, services, etc. Utilizing the database, we developed a highly organized and tremendously efficient system of support services.
Only a few hundred families learned about us during our set-up year. However, they touted the benefits of MAGIC loudly to their physicians. These Doctors called us for information and apparently liked what they heard and saw, because word began to spread about us. We began to receive calls from all around the country. Doctors, nurses, medical students, school health officials-the list is endless. Word was out! There was now support for this rare disorder. MAGIC became inundated with requests for help from highly respected nationally recognized physicians, medical centers and families.

What we did not realize at the time was that we had laid the ground work for a system which would expand beyond our wildest imagination!

Two years after MAGIC was born, one of the Founders was given a  jolt. A second child in her family was diagnosed with a different type of rare disorder (McCune Albright Syndrome) which also affected  growth. She called her MAGIC friend. One and a half hours later, she was talking to the mother of a child with this second rare disorder. At the time, there were less than 2 dozen known cases listed! MAGIC’s system now worked outside the envelope!

By this time, MAGIC had begun to be besieged with calls from the Department Heads of major hospitals and nationally acclaimed Universities, all requesting help for families with children whose diagnoses affected their growth but were not affected by Growth Hormone. This posed a difficult and yet very important challenge. How do you sustain a quality “personal” organization on such a large scale? After all, our priority is to offer effective support. And after a great deal of research into the best possible methods,  MAGIC segmented into divisions. Growth Hormone Deficiency for Children was first, followed by McCune-Albright Syndrome.

Today, MAGIC has 10 primary Divisions, and provides Network Coordinators for additional disorders. Each division is headed by a parent whose child’s diagnosis matches that division. These consultants offer a personal focus, providing meaningful support to the unique needs of each family.

Never faltering in strength nor vision, MAGIC conducted the world’s first National Convention in 1995 for these disorders. For most, it was their first opportunity to meet and socialize with families of similar disorders. It was also the first time these incredible children had to meet other kids just like them. Friendships were formed instantly and the convention became an annual event. Families from all around the world attend.

Today, MAGIC is headquartered in Oak Park, Illinois and employs a full time staff of a mere 4 people. Glued together by dedicated volunteers, this hard working group annually responds to an excess of 11,700 phone calls, 20,000 requests for educational materials, all educational programs and other support services the Foundation offers. Our database is one of the world's most comprehensive of its kind and includes (among other things) a worldwide networking system with more than 11,000 families listed.

MAGIC is guided by personal experience. We know that it’s crucial for people everywhere to have support. For those unable to call, write or visit MAGIC, a web site is accessible. People throughout the world can access medical information, reach other affected people and our full range of support services.

Word about MAGIC eventually spread to affected adults. And once again, The Foundation received a high demand to implement new  Divisions. Today, our Adult division offers a separate quarterly newsletter, networking specifically for adults, a National Educational Convention and is headed by an affected adult. Together, the adults not only find solace in meeting each other, but they enjoy mentoring the kids! They give hope to everyone!
We dream of clinics throughout the country, dedicated specifically to the early identification and treatment of growth related disorders. A place where research is conducted and no person goes without medical treatments.

We see in our dreams, and we work till we sleep!

To review the personal stories from the Founders, see the Founders Section.

Summary of the past year's program service accomplishments - click here.

MAGIC's Motto:  Children have a short time to grow and a lifetime to live with those results.

History of George Chmiel and MAGIC

https://www.magicfoundation.org/www/docs/1008.1861/

The Film

A portrait of Boston banker at Merrill Lynch, George Chmiel, a participant in ‘Racing The Planet, Nepal, 2011′ who is running to support a family in Texas whose daughter is suffering from a chronic disorder that affects growth. The race is one of the greatest endurance tests in the world; the disease is one of medical science’s least known life-threatening problems.

George’s need to run is propelled by his need to help the daughter of his good friend Mike Horvath. George battles his physical and mental demons for a finite distance and period of time – 250km in 7 days – while the Horvath family’s battle is ongoing and unending.  As George puts it, his personal battle is in his head where the struggle is to “beat your brain”.  In The Sahara Race 2009 he was the first American to finish.  “Victory” for Mike is saving the life of his daughter, Luci.

Our film will intercut the drama of the Himalayan challenge with the challenges of the Horvath’s of Houston. It will be informed both by the science of Luci’s condition which is caused by an underdeveloped pituitary gland; by the controversial use of HGH which she needs daily to survive; and by the culture and geography of Nepal where the race will follow the course of traditional trade routes between China and India

The Team

http://runningwithluci.org/the-team

The seeds for our team were planted in 2009 when founder George Chmiel competed in his first ultra marathon: A 155-mile race through the Sahara Desert. George ran for the adventure, for the challenge and for a little girl named Luci. Luci Horvath was born in August of 2006 with a very rare and dangerous growth disorder called Panhypopituitarism. George ran across the Sahara Desert in an effort to raise funds to support the MAGIC Foundation, an organization devoted to helping thousands of families and children just like Luci.

Over the next 18 month, George went on to run ultra marathons across 4 continents and became the single biggest fundraiser in the organization’s 22 year history. George’s excitement for athletics and his passion for fundraising soon grew as other athletes were inspired by his efforts and the story of Luci.

Today, George has built a team of seven like minded endurance athletes to run with Luci and the MAGIC Foundation. This team competes in extreme endurance events around the world to help raise awareness and support for the MAGIC Foundation.

Luci’s Story

Mike and Jolie Horvath knew their lives had changed forever when Luci was born in August of 2006. Luci was their first child and post-birth tests quickly showed that she had some serious complications. Luci’s first weeks of life were spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit undergoing grueling tests, suffering from extremely low blood sugar and fighting to maintain a regular body temperature. After weeks of battling unknown illness and a series of meetings with doctors and endroconologists, Luci.

Luci’s pituitary gland does not function properly and because of that her body is deficient of adrenal hormone, thyroid hormone and growth hormone. Without these hormones, Luci’s body is unable to grow and develop like other children. Simple injuries, illnesses or even was finally diagnosed with panhypopituitarism. emotional stress can cause her body to shut down. When Luci crashes, she needs emergency injections to save her life. There are treatments for her condition, but there is no cure. This is a condition Luci and her parents will continue to battle for the rest of Luci’s life.

Luci has no days off. Luci, and thousands of other children like her, have to fight hard every day just to stay alive. It is her courage, spirit, strength and endurance that have inspired our team of athletes.

Bio

Professional Career

George Chmiel is a Vice President in Bank of America/Merrill Lynch's Investor Solutions Group based in Boston, MA.  George graduated from the 2003 analyst program and has been with Merrill Lynch for nearly ten years.  He is responsible for the education, marketing and distribution of Structured Investments, Taxable Debt and Hedging & Monetization strategies within the Northeast. 

In 2008 George co-founded Capstone Apartment Partners, a commercial real-estate brokerage firm based in Charlotte, NC.  In a relatively short time, Capstone has become an industry leader among the top regional brokerage firms in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.  In 2010 Capstone Multi-Family group was created to broaden the firms scope providing its clients with comprehensive property management, asset valuation, acquisition and disposition services. 

In 2010 George was awarded the prestigious Merrill Lynch David E. Brady Award in recognition of extraordinary commitment to the client and the community. 

Personal

A big believer in proper nutrition George is ecstatic to have officially joined Team Zico to promote the benefits of pure coconut water and a naturally powered mantra.

George is a patron for Juice Plus, which provides whole food based nutrition from 17 different fruits, vegetables, and grains in convenient and inexpensive capsule form.  

In 2011 George became Co-Founder and CEO of Running With Luci, a team of amateur endurance athletes committed to raising money and awareness for The MAGIC Foundation by competing in extreme endurance events around the world.  RWL was created in honor of George’s goddaughter Luci Horvath, who was diagnosed with panhypopituitarism at a very early age.  Luci has to fight hard every day just to stay alive.  It is her courage, spirit, strength and endurance that have inspired our team of athletes.  

In the last three-years George has become the record fundraiser for The MAGIC Foundation helping raise over $200,000 for children with severe growth related disorders.

Sponsors

Zico

For more than 4,000 years, coconut water has been revered as a natural source of nutrition, wellness, beauty and hydration. In times of famine and war, coconut water has been used as an intravenous fluid and saved many lives. It’s the only natural substance that can be safely injected into the human blood stream. Now modern science has validated its effectiveness, especially as a natural sports drink.
ZICO contains the five essential electrolytes that gives your body everything it needs to stay hydrated and perform at your best. One ZICO has more potassium than a banana – 15 times more than most sports drinks – to prevent cramping. Drink ZICO before or during a workout for the natural energy you need for optimal performance. After a workout, ZICO replenishes and re-hydrates you to speed recovery.

Team Zico

http://team.zico.com/

Jenn Phelan Pilates



"Although sometimes I wish I was, I am no superhero. I am just like the students who train with me and take my classes. I know what it feels like to work all day and struggle to find the energy to finally make time for you. But I believe that every person with the desire to achieve a balance between physical fitness and mind/body connection is capable of doing so. My goal is to be your motivation. Teaching isn’t just another job for me.  It’s who I am and what I love to do."

Jennifer is a nationally certified and trained Power Pilates instructor. She has been teaching for 10 years in the Boston area. In 2010 Jennifer was named a Lululemon Ambassador and her Pilates Fusion class was awarded “Best Exercise Class in Boston” by the Improper Bostonian Magazine. Jennifer is a 2012 ZICO Team Member and Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear Ambassador. 

Jennifer teaches at some of Boston’s finest gyms and private studios and has experience training celebrity clientele. Her classes embody strength, power and relevance in today’s city scene. 


Follow Jennifer

Website  |  
Facebook  |  

Twitter

  |  YouTube

Juice Plus

Juice Plus+® is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 17 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Each ingredient is specially selected to provide a broad range of nutritional benefits.

Juice Plus+ is a complement to a healthy diet. Juice Plus+ is the simple, convenient, and inexpensive way to add more nutrition from fruits and vegetables to your diet, every day. Juice Plus+ is supported by clinical research conducted by researchers at leading hospitals and universities around the world and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Juice Plus+ is recommended by thousands of doctors and health professionals around the world. View the Video

www.georgechmieljuiceplus.com

 

 

Running with Luci

Running With Luci’s mission is simple: Our team of amateur endurance athletes is committed to raising money and awareness for The MAGIC Foundation by competing in extreme endurance events around the world.​

Running with Luci

Mission Statement

Running With Luci’s mission is simple: Our team of amateur endurance athletes is committed to raising money and awareness for The MAGIC Foundation by competing in extreme endurance events around the world.

http://runningwithluci.org/

 

Contact

Please feel free to fill out the form below or email me

Giving Back

George is passionate about pushing the limits of human endurance but finds the greater reward in inspiring others to live a healthy life and raising money and awareness for causes close to his heart.

Read more about the Magic Foundation »

My Thoughts

Read and comment on George's race blog for Gobi here

Inspiration

Press

News & Events

A message from George

I've always believed that things happen for a reason...but once they do...it's your responsibility to execute on the opportunity. 6 years ago I couldn't run more than a few miles. 4 years ago I had never heard of an ultramarathon. So it's safe to say distance running is not in my bloodlines.  But each and every day we are presented with new possibilities, complex problems and unique scenarios. There's no way to predict what's next.  But what I've learned (through plenty of mistakes of my own) is that every decision we make on a daily basis can/will have exponential impact on the future.

I feel very blessed to have befriended Mike Horvath when I did...and to have reconnected with him years later as his business partner.  I've learned much from watching Mike and his wife Jolie compassionately raise a beautiful little girl with a very serious medical condition.  And I've been inspired by Luci as she battles and continues to persevere (with a huge smile on her face) despite facing the type of sick days that I can't even imagine. And experiencing them on a way too consistent basis.

Making the decision to run across the Sahara for Luci was a simple one. As has every decision since.  Yet everyday now...sometimes only once or twice but usually much more I get the common questions...what insane adventure are you attempting next? Are you crazy? Why do you do this to yourself? Are you running to your next presentation? And I usually just chuckle and robotically shake my head in agreement...of course I'm nuts (thinking wow if you think this is nuts you should've seen me in college!)  But then I think…how is anything nuts when you're following your heart and doing what you love?  And how is it crazy when that passion sparks such life, such desire and so many intense emotions - fear, excitement, wonderment, jubilation, heartbreak?  Sounds pretty sane to me.

To my amazing family, friends, colleagues and everyone else who has supported me along the way there is no way I could properly thank you.  You are my inspiration, my strength and my fuel.  And you are the reason why I'm constantly pushing my limitations to find what lies on the other side.  I feel very fortunate to be healthy enough to attempt these feats and while the fire continues to burn strong...I plan on making it count.  The following is a quote that has transformed my life and I hope it does the same for you...

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson, used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

Luci’s Story

Mike and Jolie Horvath knew their lives had changed forever when Luci was born in August of 2006. Luci was their first child and post-birth tests quickly showed that she had some serious complications. Luci’s first weeks of life were spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit undergoing grueling tests, suffering from extremely low blood sugar and fighting to maintain a regular body temperature. After weeks of battling unknown illness and a series of meetings with doctors and endroconologists, Luci 

Luci’s pituitary gland does not function properly and because of that her body is deficient of adrenal hormone, thyroid hormone and growth hormone. Without these hormones, Luci’s body is unable to grow and develop like other children. Simple injuries, illnesses or even was finally diagnosed with panhypopituitarism. emotional stress can cause her body to shut down. When Luci crashes, she needs emergency injections to save her life. There are treatments for her condition, but there is no cure. This is a condition Luci and her parents will continue to battle for the rest of Luci’s life.

Luci has no days off. Luci, and thousands of other children like her, have to fight hard every day just to stay alive. It is her courage, spirit, strength and endurance that have inspired our team of athletes.

Race History

Ultramarathons

  • Sahara Race 2009 (5th Place)
  • RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 (22nd Place)
  • 2010 Vermont 100
  • Atacama Crossing 2011 (4th Place)
  • 2011 Vermont 50
  • RacingThePlanet:  Nepal 2011 (2nd Place team)

Marathons

  • 2007 San Diego Rock& Roll Marathon
  • 2008 Houston Marathon
  • 2008 Nashville Country Music Marathon
  • 2008 Park City Marathon
  • 2008 Hartford Marathon
  • 2008 Philadelphia Marathon
  • 2009 Providence Marathon
  • 2009 Baltimore Marathon
  • 2010 Hyannis Marathon
  • 2011 Hyannis Marathon
  • 2011 Nashville Country Music Marathon
  • 2011 Chicago Marathon
  • 2012 New Orleans Marathon (3:04:25 PR)
  • 2012 Boston Marathon

Triathlons

  • 2011 Lake Placid Ironman

The Magic Foundation

Major Aspects of Growth In Children (MAGIC) is made up of 25,000+ families whose children (and affected adults) have growth hormone deficiency or other medical conditions which affect their growth. While growth hormone deficiency is the most commonly known disorder it is not the most common cause of growth failure. We- the parents of MAGIC, fought to find answers for our children’s lack of growth. It was not an easy road. And because our children were finally diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency and a variety of other growth disorders, we are passionate about getting information “out there” for other parents. 

For more information, head over to The MAGIC Foundation’s site. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

For the Love of Luci

October 01, 2010

http://www.trishreske.com/?p=970

Meet George Chmiel – Mega Marathon Man!

September 02, 2010

http://www.jenniferphelan.com/uncategorized/meet-george-chmiel-mega-marathon-man

George Chmiel Prepares for 150 Mile Australian Ultra Marathon

April 14, 2010

http://www.i-newswire.com/george-chmiel-prepares-for-150/31591

Boston’s View: George Chmiel

April 13, 2010

http://youtu.be/tTytmA2mbTQ

Running for Luciana ; Charlestown resident George Chmiel takes on ultramarathons for sick girl

April 04, 2010

http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/articles/curated/240587

Running for Luciana

April 04, 2010

http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/lifestyle/view/20100404running_for_luciana_charlestown_resident_george_chmiel_takes_on_ultramarathons_for_sick_girl

Run 155 miles in 5 days? In the desert?

November 18, 2009

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/news/story?id=4665732

Charlestown man places fifth in Sahara Desert race

October 31, 2009

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/10/charlestown_man_4.html

A nice little jog in the Sahara Desert

October 22, 2009

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/10/a_nice_little_j.html

Arnold native to run across Sahara Desert

August 18, 2009

http://www.4deserts.com/admin/images/recent/doc12603302071.pdf

News & Events

  1. The Last Desert 155-Mile Ultramarathon

    Antartica

View More