News Save Our Sons team walk the bay for DMD
3 April 2017 – After 11 days on the road the Walk to Save Our Sons 2017 Edition team arrived in Melbourne’s St Kilda today to be greeted by hundreds of enthusiastic families and supporters after completing a 300 kilometre circuitous route around the Port Philip Bay area to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
This year’s marathon walk raised in total just over $1 million, including the charity’s target $650,000 for online donations and the fundraiser Gala Dinner last Saturday night.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common form of muscular dystrophy in children. The disease causes aggressive muscle degeneration almost exclusively in young boys, but on rare occasions can affect young girls, and leads to the inability to walk and presently has no cure.
An 8.30am start at Queen Vic Market on Tuesday 21 March saw the team of walkers warmed up and ready to tackle the first day. They were waved off by a large band of supporters, many of whom accompanied the team along the way offering encouragement.
Leading the core team of 12 was Save Our Sons founder, Elie Eid, who pushed his son, Emilio, a DMD sufferer, in a wheelchair all the way. Along the route, local supporters joined the walk.
PAYCE project manager, Michael Malak, a long-time supporter of Save Our Sons, joined the fundraiser walk again this year after participating in last year’s Albury to Melbourne walk and the Sydney to Canberra walk in 2015.
Michael said it was an honour to join the team for the third year running and to be representing his employer, PAYCE who added its strong support again this year.
Michael set himself a target of raising $12,500 and by the end of the walk had easily exceeded that figure to contribute $20,440 through donations he attracted for his endeavours.
He said there were many highlights along the way, but he said one that stood out was meeting with doctors and nurses of the neuromuscular department at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“Jemima Mitchell is the first clinical trials nurse to be funded by the SOS Duchenne Foundation and one of the aims of our fundraising walk is to get more clinical nurses into all main children’s hospitals in the country.”
PAYCE Director, Dominic Sullivan said PAYCE welcomed the opportunity to support the Save Our Sons’ initiative to build awareness for the Duchenne muscular dystrophy disease.
“The funds raised go to researching a cure so that children with this currently incurable disease can have a better and longer life,” he said.
“Our thoughts were with young Emilio and his father throughout their journey and it was good news to learn they and all the team had successfully completed their mission and happy to have yet again completed such a gruelling but rewarding marathon walk.”
The team were overwhelmed by the support shown as they travelled around the bay, with lots of donations from people on the streets and support from businesses along the way.
Save Our Sons is a member of a global alliance, called the Duchenne Alliance, to take the fight against DMD worldwide.
Funding of scientific trials is coordinated and allocated by Save the Sons, based on the advice of a team of expert scientific advisors around the world to ensure which trials will produce the maximum benefit. To donate to Save Our Sons go to www.saveoursons.org.au/donate-now.
Media contact: Bill Smith 0412 446 058