In 2005, quarterback Vince Young led his teammates from the University of Texas to a coveted national title while the Revell family back in Austin was just discovering that their son suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and would be confined to a wheelchair by the time he was in college. The Revell family’s story touched Young when they met each other, and he gathered together his fellow teammates from the University of Texas to help. Recently, Young and Kasey Studdard, a teammate from UT, hosted the 6th annual Champions to CureDuchenne on April 11th and along with 300 supporters helped raise over $300,000 to find a cure for the devastating inherited disease.
Laura and Tim Revell along with Mack and Sally Brown created the Champions to CureDuchenne event to raise awareness and fund scientific research in order to find a cure, as both of their sons suffer with Duchenne. The Browns were the ones who introduced Young, who has hosted the event for the last 3 years. Since then, the Champions to CureDuchenne events, which are held each year at the University of Texas Golf Club, have raised over $1 million to fight the disease. Duchenne has no cure or treatment.
More than 300,000 boys around the world suffer from Duchenne. The disease affects boys mainly, weakening the muscles and causing life-threatening deterioration, leaving boys in a wheelchair when they are only teenagers and causing death in their mid-20s. Exercise only worsens Duchenne symptoms, which doesn’t allow them to partake in certain activities.
The raised funds will serve to support Kevin Flanigan‘s research focused on several mutations and duplications of the dystrophin gene that leads to the disease. Flanigan found a genetic therapy that might restore muscle function. This discovery could completely change the way DMD patients live their lives and might begin human clinical trials in the next few years. This initial treatment at first will only serve to address a small population of Duchenne patients who carry a specific gene duplication. However, the discovery could have a tremendous impact on research to find a cure for all kinds of Duchenne.
“When our boys were diagnosed with Duchenne, we were told there was no cure or treatment and that a miracle was needed. For thousands of families like ours Dr. Flanigan is the first step toward that miracle,” said Tim Revell.
Young added: “Being active and playing football have been such a vital part of my life, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to not be able to use my muscles. Boys this age should be able to run, play sports and not have to worry about their muscles getting weaker. We need to find a cure to save Timothy, Andrew and others with Duchenne.”
“It’s devastating to know your two children, your legacy, won’t outlive you. The Austin community stepped up with tremendous support to be part of the solution. While it is devastating to receive a pronounced death sentence for your little boy, there is hope as a cure is close; it just takes funding,” concluded Tim.
Seven CureDuchenne-funded research projects advanced into human clinical trials and a ray of hope for the families and patients with Duchenne was provided.
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On May 2, 2015 Bill and Kim Procko will be hosting a skateboarding competition “Carve to CureDuchenne,” which is intended to benefit the nonprofit CureDuchenne organization that funds research projects hoping to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and raises awareness about the disease. The fundraising event will take place at Hatch Park in Branford, Florida in conjunction with the final phase of Procko Skate Park. Hundreds of fans and local skateboarders will gather to raise funds to help the Procko family in their quest to find a cure for their 11-year-old son Evan while being the first to experience the new “Burger Bowl” pool course.