Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) celebrates the 15th anniversary of our endurance fundraising program, Race to End Duchenne, this weekend in Orlando. Over 170 team members will participate in the 2020 WALT DISNEY WORLD® MARATHON WEEKEND (presented by CIGNA), running in honor of someone they love with Duchenne.
The WALT DISNEY WORLD® MARATHON WEEKEND is a special event for the Race to End Duchenne team, explains Nicole Herring, PPMD’s Director of Community Development and head of the program: “When we formed our first race team here at the Walt Disney World® in 2005, we had no idea what to expect. But true to the incredible PPMD-community, 86 runners joined our team, raised more than $86,000, and our endurance program was born.”
Since 2005, the Race to End Duchenne program has raised over $13 million. These funds have contributed significantly to the ground-breaking work PPMD has supported for the last 25 years. According to Ms. Herring, “The Race to End Duchenne program has contributed significantly to the more than $50 million PPMD has invested into Duchenne research and therapy development– an investment that has leveraged $500 million in federal funding into Duchenne research.” Since the Race program began, Ms. Herring pointed out, ten years have been added to the average lifespan of people with Duchenne, thanks to PPMD-led advances in care.
While raising money for research and amplifying awareness for this rare disease are the goals of the program, PPMD’s Founding President and CEO, Pat Furlong, describes an unexpected benefit: “When a family receives the devastating diagnosis that their child has Duchenne, they feel alone, isolated. PPMD has always strived to bring families together so that they can share this unexpected journey with people who understand what they are going through. The Race to End Duchenne program has become a lifeline for families to relieve stress and have fun! I am so grateful to every single person who has joined our team and gone the distance to help us end this disease. Whether you’ve run, walked, cheered from the sidelines, or made a donation, you truly are heroes to PPMD.”
To learn more about the Race to End Duchenne and to support this year’s 15th anniversary season, click here.