Mission

To educate the community on how to avoid Brain Bleeds, Stroke and Heart Disease through healthy life choices and encourage everyone to take on a Never Quit attitude and live life to its fullest.

Prevention is the key to avoiding such medical issues. The Never Quit Tour has the unique opportunity and ability to reach our youth and in turn their parents, extended family and friends. The goal is to teach them of prevention, living an active and healthy lifestyle, and if stroke, heart disease or a brain bleed should ever happen to anyone they know, how to take care of that person with love, strength and understanding. Gerard’s wife Reidunn, and sons Erik and Paul and daughters Sonya and Karina learned how to help her husband and father surpass all barriers placed on him. And… Karina’s status of being one of the top female surfers in North America along with local medical specialists deliver a very powerful and unique presentation and message to local schools at the Never Quit Challenge that focuses on family, fun and health.

This event was inspired by Captain Gerard Petroni, his family and the local health and medial community that helped Gerard cross barriers that most believed not possible. The community watched a man overcome and defeat the odds with a Never Quit attitude, strong faith in God, and the unending love and support of his family. Out of Gerard’s stroke and brain bleed, bad turned to good and a story of hope and prevention developed that can now be shared so that all my benefit.

After approximately 5 months of not being able to adequately communicate, Gerard Petroni was asked if he could write anything on a piece of paper, what would he write? Gerard wrote the words…”NEVER QUIT.”

Purpose

Faith & Wellness: Encouraging people to live a purpose driven life.
Family: A day of great fun for everyone to come together.
Healthy lifestyle: Healthy foods, challenging physical activities, and preventative health check-ups.
Our Armed Services: Honoring the spirited people who both support and serve our country
Take on a NEVER QUIT approach to Life: No matter what life throws at you, a NEVER QUIT attitude will allow you to finish life’s race.

When we leave the NEVER QUIT event, we hope you will be changed for the better.

Our goal, is that all of us feel encouraged to live a healthier lifestyle and get regular health check-ups, spend more time with our families, have more purpose in life, that we take time to appreciate our armed forces and all they do for our country, and take on a NEVER QUIT attitude in all that we do.

All participants and sponsors involved with the NEVER QUIT Challenge are working toward the same goals and share the same principles. This fact makes this event truly unique and special, setting it apart from all others.

The heartfelt meaning of this event is what motivated so many that were not runners, to participate in years prior and will be the driving force once again this year. “There is no growth without change, no change without fear or loss, and… Only a life lived for someone else is a life worth living.”

History

Our Dad, Capt Gerard Petroni was one the healthiest men around. However, he suffered a stroke in April of 2006 and large brain bleed the day before Thanksgiving in November 2006. It was very questionable if he would live, but with Gerard and our family’s Never Quit attitude, and the help of the amazing doctors, support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, therapists at Brooks Rehab, and trainers from LearningRX, he survived, improved greatly and inspired those who heard his story.

In addition, Gerard’s strong constitution cultivated by eating healthy and living a vibrant life, allowed him to survive his Brain Bleed in 2006 and inspired the Never Quit message. With these healthy traits, and now having his blood pressure monitored closely, he was able to live an additional 3 years. However, a life of prior high blood pressure had taken its toll. On Dec 19, he suffered another stroke and on Dec 25, a massive brain bleed. He went Home to His Creator on Dec 31, 2009.

When Dad was growing up, the importance of checking blood pressure wasn’t well known. But his passing wasn’t in vain as this message is so moving. We can learn from Dad’s life, so what happened to him and our family may not happen to yours.

With this story, let us all help to educate and save lives, so we can do more with the wonderful life we are given.

Read his biography here to learn more about Capt. Petroni

Saturday, June 2, 2009. After Party for the very first NEVER QUIT Beach Fest that took place earlier this day in Jacksonville Beach. This picture was taken 2.5 years after Dad’s 1st stroke and brain bleed that almost took his life. Dad lived for 6 more months (after this picture was taken/1st Beach Fest) before having one more stroke and brain bleed. He passed away Dec 31, 2009. This family picture from Left to Right. Sonya, Paul, Karina, Erik, wife Reidunn and Gerard (Jerry) Petroni. Dad made a wonderful recovery, I am so proud of him. My buddy. He is now in heaven with a brand new body, running around in his read shorts asking Noah a lot of sea stories and why he built the ark they way he did. Heaven comes soon in life, lets give our best to others around us, and ourselves while we are here on earth. We can make life count in a good and wholesome way.

Bryan ChalkerMission & History