In January, Kate White, a local mom, decided to train and run the 2020 Chicago Marathon to raise awareness and support for research to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a devastating disorder that Teddy, her youngest son, had recently been diagnosed as having. Kate's local friends Bonnie Pope, Emily Carr, and Rachel Marino decided to join her efforts and began training for the marathon too. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the marathon was canceled but Kate and friends decided to keep running and keep raising awareness for DMD.
On Saturday, October 3, 14 local moms and friends joined Kate in running their own 5Ks or 10Ks in Ridgefield in place of the canceled Chicago Marathon. "We could not have had better weather and it was so incredibly inspiring and humbling to my family and me. There has even been talk of making this event an annual tradition and we plan on making it happen," said Kate about the event and the support she and family have been receiving.
They were joined by another Ridgefield DMD warrior mom and Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy founder, Jessica Curran, whose 10 year old son, Conner, was the first child to undergo promising gene therapy for DMD. To learn more about DMD, Conner, and the Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy, read here
Although the marathon may have been cancelled, the race to end DMD is still going strong! "Team Teddy" has raised over $8,000 from friends, family, and complete strangers and we were given the chance to run Chicago once over the next three years. If you are interested in learning more or donating, please go to 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon: Team Teddy - Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
. Any donations made by Monday, October 12, (the planned running of the 2020 Chicago Marathon), will be matched by another DMD family's organization, the Small Heroes Foundation.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disorder characterized by the progressive loss of muscle due to the body’s inability to make dystrophin, a muscle building protein. It is a multi-systemic condition, affecting many parts of the body, which results in deterioration of the skeletal, cardiac, and pulmonary muscles. Most boys with DMD (90%) become non-ambulatory in their early teenage years, and many don’t live past their late 20s. But with promising research, this does not have to be the normal! DMD affects approximately 1/5,000 live male births. About 20,000 children are diagnosed with Duchenne globally each year. Because the dystrophin gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects males, while females are typically carriers. There are also cases where the gene mutated without having a mother as a carrier.
Photo credit: Jessica Witte Brown Photography