“I Will Walk for You” is campaign lead by Lianette Gonzalez, in support of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Inc. (PPMD), the largest U.S. non-profit organization fighting to end Duchenne. More than 40 artists are donating their works of art, some of them based on the spontaneous drawings of children affected with Duchenne. Lianette’s son Alex at the age of 5 was diagnosed with DMD, and the creators of this project are Jose Lorenzo Moya and Alejandra Diaz-Ruiz Labrit, friends of Lianette Gonzalez, Alex’s mother. They had the beautiful idea of organizing an artÂ exhibition with artists and DMD children. Each participating child would do a spontaneous drawing. Then, each artist would sponsor a drawing, take it as an inspiration, supplement it, and make it a true work of art. The proceeds of the sales would be donated to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), leaders in the fight to end Duchenne. Donations are 100% tax deductible. “I Will Walk for You” art exhibit will take place at the Coral Gables Museum on May 31st and June 1st.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in early childhood (about 20,000 new cases each year). It occurs across all races and cultures, and it is caused by a mutated gene found on the X-chromosome that encodes for dystrophin (a protein that helps maintain the structure of muscle cells). Duchenne can be passed down from a mother to a child, or it can happen because of a random spontaneous mutation in families with no history of DMD. Thus, ANYONE can have a child with Duchenne. It primarily affects boys, but there are cases of females with DMD. Usually, children with Duchenne lose their ability to walk and need a wheelchair between the ages of 8 and 10. By their late teens, they lose their upper body strength including the use of their arms and eventually need a respirator to help them breath. Young Duchenne patients typically live into their twenties or early thirties because the progressive muscle weakness leads to serious medical problems, particularly issues relating to the heart and lungs. There is currently NO CURE for Duchenne, but there is ongoing research trying to find one.