You probably haven’t heard of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). It’s a relatively rare genetic disease that affects one in every 3500 boys worldwide. In Central Texas, there are about 10 known cases of this terrible disease that causes muscle weakness in boys. Tragically, DMD is always fatal.
While there isn’t any cure for the disease yet, Tim Revell is doing his best to raise as much money as possible for research so that someday there might be a cure for this disease which has afflicted his 8-year-old son Timothy.
For the seventh year in a row, Revell is running the Livestrong Austin Marathon to raise money to fight DMD. Revell’s foundation—www.firstgiving.com/race4timothy—is part of the 26 miles for 26 charities that raises money during the marathon.
In his six prior years of running Austin to raise money and awareness for Duchenne, Revell has netted thousands for DMD research from contributions. This year, Revell hopes to raise $20,000. He’ll be easy to spot at the finish as Revell customarily finishes the marathon by running the final 100 meters with Timothy.
“Timothy has been at the finish for me for every time I’ve run Austin,” says the 38-year-old Revell, a sales executive for Standard Register who lives in Cedar Park. “Timothy plays and gets around and most importantly, he’s still walking. The fact that he’s still walking is an inspiration for me to keep going. He’s doing as well as any boy with Duchenne, but he still needs all the help I can give him. There is still no cure and we are running out of time.”
Although Timothy can walk and functions normally in most ways, there are some physical activities he’s unable to do because of the effects of the disease. But as the disease progresses (as it always does), he will probably be wheelchair-bound, says his father. There are drugs—namely, steroids–that will prolong his ability to walk, but there are side effects. Regardless, boys with Duchenne have a life expectancy—in the best cases—to the early 20s.
This year, Cure Duchenne will be sponsoring an aid station which will be staffed by friends families of boys with Duchenne and boys who have the disease to lend their support.
“We will have boys who will never run,” says Revell who is hoping to better his PR of 3:30, “giving out water to marathoners so they can finish this race.”