Climbing Mt. Shasta to help cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

On June 19, 2010, I will be hiking Mount Shasta to help cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The team I'm on is attempting to raise at least $5,000 to help fund research to find a cure! Please help us by donating below. Every little bit helps and 100% of the donation is used toward research!

What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

Boys with Duchenne are typically diagnosed before the age of five. Their muscles swell and joints become restricted. They are easily fatigued and have difficulty keeping up with others their age. Most Duchenne boys need a wheelchair between the ages of 10 and 12. The simplest of tasks, such as holding a fork or turning over in bed, becomes very difficult. In the later stages, heart and breathing muscles begin to fail. Historically, most boys with Duchenne have not survived their teens.

Gene therapy and stem cell research have made huge advances in just the last year. These actual cures could be any where from 5-20 years away.  There is however, a new class of drugs and therapies which will not cure the disease, but will fool the body into producing dystrophin or will upregulate other proteins that could take the place of dystophin, while at the same time eliminate some of the damage that occurs in the muscle cells of Duchenne boys. Although boys treated with these drugs will never be world class athletes, there is hope that they could lead a relatively normal life, much like diabetics.

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