Barlow Mountain Elementary fourth-grader, Conner Curran was honorary captain of the Ridgefield High School boys lacrosse team last Saturday's game against Greenwich. The team raised funds for Conner’s family’s foundation, Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy or (KOMD), which funds medical research to help find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy as well as assist families with the expenses of handicap accessible vans, chair lifts, or medical equipment.
With a Stadium full of fans, the Ridgefield Boys Lacrosse Team announced that Conner Curran would serve as Honorary Captain of Saturday’s
game against Greenwich High School. Conner, being an avid sport’s fan was thrilled to meet the players and participate in the coin toss.
Conner was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of five years old and the Currans are extremely grateful to the
Ridgefield Boys Lacrosse Team and the Ridgefield Booster Club for raising much-needed awareness of Duchenne and treating Conner like a rock star.
He was thrilled to spend time with the players and to receive a #7 (his favorite number) Varsity Lacrosse shirt from the team and other fabulous Lacrosse gear from the Booster Club. The Curran’s want to shout out their special thanks to Head Coach, Roy Colsey (right), and Chris Lauretani from the Booster Club for arranging this spectacular event for Conner.
It is particularly significant that Conner has come to admire athletes because the simple act of walking or running becomes increasingly difficult for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy kids as they age until they are unable to walk or run at all. Unfortunately, even hugging becomes increasingly difficult for DMD kids as they age also - ultimately resulting in the complete lack of use of all muscles in young adulthood. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive muscle-wasting disease that primarily affects boys. Currently, most do not survive past early adulthood. As devastating as this diagnosis is, the Currans are full of hope for Conner and so many other DMD children. Scientists are on the cusp of actually finding a cure. Exciting new research and gene therapy clinical trials are currently being conducted that may change the course of this disease forever, but the Currans are in a race against time and Conner and these young DMD boys don’t have a lot of time. Every moment that the Curran’s spend with their son, Conner, is precious to them because they know time is not on their side. Conner is an engaging thoughtful young boy who is always ready with a warm bright smile that lights up his face. This smile amazingly remains on his face through numerous blood draws, MRIs and muscle biopsies.
Because of Duchenne, Conner has had to endure the emotional struggles of coping with a disease that has limited his abilities to run and play but he has battled through his journey with a courage and inner strength that is an inspiration to his parents and family. Conner was the first patient dosed in an ongoing Pfizer DMD gene therapy clinical trial and he has shown some improvement in his abilities. Thankfully, he has remained stable for the last year. Improvement or stabilization in any physical skill requiring the use of muscle generally never happens in Duchenne. The Curran’s are hopeful that gene therapy will show benefit for all Duchenne patients and are focused on funding gene technology that has the potential of revolutionizing medicine not only for Duchenne but for all those with genetic disorders.
Jessica and Christopher are humbled and grateful for the support they have received from the Ridgefield community who have gathered together to help them achieve their advocacy and fund-raising goals. To date, Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy has raised over 1 million dollars and all proceeds have gone to fund research, clinical trials and benevolent assistance. The Currans have established a goal of raising $1 million over the next 36 months. Please consider helping them achieve their goal.
To learn more about Duchenne and to contact them visit www.KindnessOverMD.org
Anyone interested in helping to find a cure for this disease can spread kindness and awareness in an effort to help advance research and treatment by using #KOMD and #KindnessOverMD The mission at KOMD is simple: a cure for Conner and all the children with Duchenne, but those words are so much more than a mission statement – it’s a dream, a hope and a prayer! And no matter how simple the words are the fact remains that a REAL CURE is just not possible without financial help. KOMD --- the names says it all – because without kindness, support and love KOMD cannot accomplish their precious mission of building strength for Duchenne patients. With your help of the community, the Curran’s believe that DMD kids can get over the finish line to strength and health!
More photos and information here.
Photo Credit: Gregory Vasil, Iconic Sports Imagery