One of the great traditions about Sunday’s Austin Marathon is its Austin Gives Miles charity program. There are 32 charitable foundations in which marathoners or half marathoners can raise money for a charity of their choosing.
Many of the charities are familiar ones such as Marathon Kids, American Lung Association, Back on My Feet and the Komen Foundation. But there are also lesser known charities such as probably one you haven’t heard much about (if anything). It’s called CureDuchenne.
The disease is called 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. There are about 200,000 known cases world wide. Tragically, DMD is always fatal.
While there isn’t any known cure for the disease yet, veteran Austin marathoner 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 Revell’s 11-year-old son Timothy has.
For the 10th year in a row, Revell is running the Austin Marathon in his signature green cape to raise money for CureDuchenne (www.cureduchenne.org) to fight DMD.
In his nine 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.
“There are certain moments in life when everything is right and crossing the finish line of the Austin Marathon is one of those for Timothy and me,” says Revell, a sales executive for Standard Register who lives in Cedar Park. “Timothy gets to walk the finishers row, get the finisher medal and be in the finisher picture. Our days are full of survival, but at the marathon, we win a small battle and it is a day of joy.”
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 inevitably 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, children with Duchenne have a life expectancy—in the best cases—to the early 20s.
“If I’m able to help Timothy save his legs by using mine, I’m all in. Timothy has been at the finish for me for every time I’ve run Austin,” says the 42-year-old Revell who along with his wife Laura also organizes the Champions to CureDuchenne Gala. “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.”
As is customary, Revell will be one of several runners who are running the marathon or half to raise money for CureDechenne.
If you’d like to contribute, either go to the foundation website (www.cureduchenne.org) for more information on this worthy cause or contact Revell @ 512/789-5936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Said Revell, “Our goal is simple: We want to be out of business in 10 years because that will mean a cure has been found.”