One of the great traditions about the upcoming Austin Marathon is its Austin Gives Miles (formerly 26 charities for 26 miles). One of those charities is probably one you haven’t heard much about (if anything). It’s 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 this muscle weakness in boys and about 200,000 known cases. 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. Revell’s son Timothy, who is now 10 years old, was first diagnosed with this disease in 2005.
For the tenth year in a row, Revell is running the Austin Marathon in his signature green cape to raise money to fight DMD. Revell’s foundation—http://support.cureduchenne.org/goto/timothys9thmarathon
—is just one of the 30 charities that raises money during the marathon.
In his eight 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 $10,000. He’ll be easy to spot at the finish as Revell customarily finishes the marathon by running the final 100 meters with Timothy.
“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 40-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 the aid station at mile 24 ½ mile on Duval (right at Double Dave’s Pizza) 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 will be one of eight runners doing either the full or half to raise money for Duchenne, but they will be giving out water to marathoners so they can finish this race. We run for the boys who can’t.”
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 timothy.revellstandardregister.com.
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.”