Emily Quitzau is a 14-year-old triplet with two brothers were both born with severe disabilities. Emily’s brother Calvin was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) when he was 5 years old. Since then, the degenerative muscle disease has restrained him to a wheelchair with very limited use of his arms.
People like Emily go all-out to raise money and awareness to support research against DMD in the absence of unified institutional progress. On July 22, Emily will set off on a tri-state, 500-mile bike ride more demanding than most of the triathlons and road races she has completed in the past – all to raise money and awareness for DMD.
The promises of major research breakthroughs for novel Duchenne MD treatments offer hope for the community. In recent weeks the U.S. FDA delayed market approval of Sarepta Therapeutics’ exon-skipping drug, eteplirsen. Had it not been delayed it would have become the first-ever MD-specific drug in the U.S.
BioBridges, a career portfolio management company providing integrated services to the emerging life sciences community, was founded by industry veterans to align life sciences professionals with the programs that need them. When Emily’s story went public, BioBridges took note. While the company has played an active role working on new therapies for DMD, it was Emily’s remarkable commitment that truly inspired them to support her mission.
“Sure, one could say our donation would suffice to support her cause, but we wanted to go a step further and get behind her in a bigger way by sharing her story with the greater BioBridges community. Emily is an example for all of us,” Jason Falchuk, a BioBridges’ founding partner, said in a press release. “She reminds us of the courage, determination, and relentless strength it takes to face and overcome adversity.”