As Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy turns 15 this month, we reflect on what the world knew of Duchenne when we started, and what is being done to end Duchenne today. And although we are extremely proud of and thankful for the advances that have been made in the Duchenne community over the past 15 years, we also recognize there is much more work still to be done.

It is also a time for us to think about the blessings in our lives. I think I can assume for all of us, that our family is our number one priority and what we are the most thankful for. That’s why I would like to ask you (and anyone & everyone you know!) to share your list of the 15 things about your family that make you smile. I have included my list below. Please leave a comment to this discussion, sharing your 15 things! We all know how unique our families are, especially when Duchenne has invaded our home, but what I think will surprise you, is how similar we all are!

Thank you for sharing your list and opening your hearts and homes to our community!

15 things about my family that make me smile

• There are six (and soon seven) of us – Jen & Kris, Michelle, Chris, Patrick, and Tom
• We still get a lump in our throat when we talk about Chris and Patrick, wishing to hear their voices
• Jen and Michelle are wonderful, strong, kind, intelligent, and independent
• We believe in, and support, each other’s dreams.
• Jen is marrying Kris and he makes it obvious he loves her
• Michelle loves what she does and loves NYC
• Jen wants to go back to school and get another degree
• Tom thinks he is Fred Astaire
• I can still call Michelle – Mush
• Jen and Michelle still remember my favorite punishment
• We still laugh about Michelle’s imaginary friend, Sherry Comfort and her relatives
• We can smile about living in Middletown, Ohio
• Jen and Michelle love to shop
• Jen suggested I take pilates and organized it for me.
• We all know that our hearts beat together.

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- We love each other.
- We are grateful for everyday together.
- We are able to laugh.
- We can walk/run half marathons without injuries.
- We have hope.
- We won't let DMD destroy us.
- My boys still let me hug them.
- My yellow lab Maggie.
- My husband still makes my heart skip a beat.
- Family vacations at the beach
- A day without the D word.
- Seeing my kids smile at me.
- Scott loves girls and girls love him.
- We are united.
- We are lucky to have each other.
-Our wonderful family-even the crazy ones
-Our dog Nestle who got Wyatt to sleep through the night
-Wyatt's big blue eyes and great smile
-Old friends and the new ones made on this journey
-A baby on the way
-Our camps: Grand Isle and Manchac
-Trips to the beach (though not often enough)
-Hope, research, and the researchers
-A child's innocence
-Playing outside like there is no worry in the world
-Watching Wyatt pretend he is either his mommy or daddy
-Wyatt loving school (finally)
-Sleeping through the night (not for much longer)
-My grandmother's are alive and still passing on their wisdom (to me and my son)
-God, faith, prayers (even the unanswered)
My 3 kids...the fun, happy, silly, crazy, loud, chaotic and the quiet moments
Alex, at age 9-1/2 can still walk, run, jump and climb pretty well and is a happy boy.
My husband and I about to celebrate 11 yrs of marriage. Our marriage is stronger than ever. We are each other's rock.
I never take little things for Alex walking to his brings tears of joy to my eyes almost everyday when I watch him walk away from my car.
My wonderful support system of friends and family.
Alex's school, all the support and resources they have given us.
Alex is a gifted writer.
We are not overscheduled and spend alot of quality family time together.
PPMD, Internet networking, learning so much from other families dealing with DMD.
Researchers and scientists trying to eliminate DMD.
Date night with my husband.
Summertime - lots of fun times playing outside, listening to music, having BBQ's and swimming in pool.
My book club of 7 years and reading a good book
Dinner and a glass of wine with my great girlfriends
Pedicures (which I get about 4 times a year these days)
There are 7 of us: Myself, husband Warren, daughter Heather, son-in-law Dan, son Paul, grandkids Jacob and Meredith.
To be able to look in Jacob's and Meredith's faces and see the love and innocence in their eyes.
Smiles on Jacob's and Meredith's faces.
My four dogs and the work I do with puppymill rescue.
Friends I have made along the way.
Everyone from PPMD, researches, doctors and scientists who are working to help all of our boys.
A warm sunny day.
A weekend off camping with family and friends.
Tubing down a stream with Jacob.
Watching Jacob ride at Special Equestrians.
My sister who has become my confidante.
Having Jacob and Meredith stay with me overnight.
Taking the kids new places and teaching them new things.
Working in the yard.
Rescuing dogs from puppymills and seeing their reactions when they are placed on the ground for the first time in their lives.
1, We always joke around, i'll say something silly, my dad will try to top it with something else and we end up laughing.
2, Our country, Wales, it has awesome people and greenery.
3, Teasing each other over stupid things like work, friends, etc.
4, My niece and nephew, they come out with the funniest things, and their smiles melt our hearts :)
5,Listening to old stories of when my sisters and I were young, how i liked teenage mutant hero turtles, how sian destroyed every barbie cutting their hair like some kind of plastic boot camp, and emma loved horses, we all used to ride.
6, Our sense of humour, we can be quite dry, dark or giggly.
7, Argueing with the tv! I'm always talking to the tv answering back.
8, My artwork definately makes me smile, learning new skills and making people happy, im finally not useless!
9, My dads taste in music, he likes some old stuff, and "hand" dances in the car. Also he likes way old films proclaiming each a "classic", not all of them are lol
10, Watching mum try to draw in "pictionary" and drawing a brick for a bottle of wine.
11, When i was 6/7 the vicar in church asked "What is love?", my hand shoots up and I say "Sex", everyone fell about laughing, i'll never live it down!
12, When my dog was alive, he would try to eat hardgums, it was funny, hard keeping him away from them.
13, When we went on days out, and ran in the sun, playing all day.
14, Going in my back garden on sunny days, getting a tan (very rarely though)
15, Watching sports with my dad
Matthew is still walking at 13 years old with DMD.
My husband's Mark's Smile.
Matthew's Smile.
Matthew's cheering on the Columbus BlueJackets.
Going for a walk on a warm spring morning.
Finishing a knitting project.
Making someone else smile.
Reading a good book during a cold rainy day.
Knowing things will always be OK with God present.
Sleeping in on a lazy summer day with my husband.
Enjoying my family get togethers.
Remembering the good times with my brother Billy and my mother.
Watching a good concert.
Counting the blessing I have daily.
Enjoying my jobs when I Usher.
My husband the provider
My son and his big blue eyes and smile
The closeness we share with each other.
The unspoken I love you's
Sitting and watching my son play
When he looks at me and kisses me for no reason
Needing me always
Keeping the faith
Knowing there is a purpose for Skyler
Expecting a new baby in October.
Having a brother or sister for Skyler
Staying motivated
My family and friends
15 things about my family that make me smile
1. Jon cooking dinner for me on the days I work in Buffalo.
2. Mike grocery shopping and make sure the fridge is always stocked so Jon can create his dishes.
3. Kat's funny stories are like a stand-up comedy routine that make me laugh out loud.
4. Kat and Jon hanging out and watching movies together when she is home from college.
5. Mike, Jon and I watching natures beauty like 65,000 bats going on their nightly feed.
6. Jon telling me being a human lab rat is not so bad, because all things we do help keep him mobile.
7. My niece's rocker jewerly at her web store
8. Shop Estella's pink fender guitar window display.
9. Our yellow lab who wakes me up in the morning with his wet nose and happy grin.
10. My family saying I Love You at the end of a phone conversation.
11. My big brotherand his wife taking care of me and letting me relax when I visit them in NH.
12. Jon looking for another dog companion our dog.
13. Mike starting his seedlings for the garden.
14. Jon redesigning the gold fish pond for the summer.
15. Mike's interest in Star Gazing.

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