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Finnegan loves his family and loves basketball, but the opportunity to discover these loves was never guaranteed. That’s because Finnegan was born with a birth defect called imperforate anus and had his first life-saving surgery within the first 24 hours of his life. There were more surgeries before his first birthday. Finnegan’s story brings us to a scary statistic — every year 120,000 children are born with birth defects, which cause one-in-five deaths during the first year. This is the inspiration behind Finnegan’s Challenge, a 24-hour celebrity free throw challenge in which Richard “Doc” Sander, Finnegan’s grandfather and former athletic director at East Tennessee State University, will attempt to exceed 3,300 free throws. And other well-known figures in the sports world will be joining Doc at the free throw line. To learn more about this epic undertaking, we chatted with Doc, himself!

Finnegan’s Challenge is open to anyone who wants to join. Participants can shoot their own free throws, donate for every shot made and post videos to social media with the hashtag #FinnegansChallenge. Funds will create a much-needed support system for families who are impacted by the struggles associated with birth defects.

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