Cory Stalling is a fifth grader from Missoula, Montana. On July 8, a Run For Our Sons team will again pound the streets of Missoula on behalf of Cory as part of the Missoula Marathon. Cory and his family have been a big part of this community and now are taking another step to raise awareness, with a just launched video about Cory, Run For Our Sons, and Duchenne. Cory is a young man who is living his life, not letting Duchenne slow him down, grateful for the people who support him. His drive to always challenge himself is one of the reasons Cory is our featured voice for May. We caught up with Cory at home with his mom.
Hi Cory, great meeting you! What grade are you in? How old are you?
I am in the fifth grade at Paxson Elementary and I am eleven years old.
What are you favorite subjects in school? What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
My favorite subjects in school are social studies and I was in the spelling bee this year, I came in fourth place for my whole school. When I grow up I want to be a photographer because I like creating artistic images and photography is my favorite art form.
Congratulations on the spelling bee! What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not in school?
My favorite thing to do when I am not in school is to go for long hikes in the woods with my dogs because I like to see the wilderness and nature. I like getting over obstacles like rocks and logs so I go off trail sometimes to challenge myself.
It’s great to occasionally stray from the path and explore! Tell us about the upcoming Missoula Marathon. How does it make you feel to have a team running in your honor? What will you be doing on race day?
I feel happy about the upcoming Missoula Marathon; it makes me feel good that people are running for me. On race day I will be waiting at the finish line cheering for my team and drinking a Frappuccino from Liquid Planet, my favorite coffee shop in downtown Missoula.
Sounds like it will be a great day! Tell us about the support you get from your parents and family. What does it mean to you to see them working on various projects and events on your behalf?
It makes me very happy that my parents and family are working on so many things to help me.
They are great people! We’ve seen the video that has been put together about you. Why do you think a video like this is important? What do you hope this video will do? Why should someone watch?
I feel a little embarrassed to have that kind of attention so I can’t really comment on what the video might do. From my perspective those are just pictures of me when I was a little kid so I don’t quite understand why anyone else wants to see them. My mom loves the pictures so that makes me happy!
It’s a great video and we hope people will help share it online! What do you tell people when they ask you why you use a scooter/wheelchair? What does having Duchenne mean to you?
When people ask me why I sometimes use a wheelchair I tell them I have a disorder called muscular dystrophy. The question, what does it mean to me to have Duchenne, is a really hard question to answer. It means I have a disorder and that I am special. Because of my disorder I now have a service dog named Rita; that is really special! When my mom said that someday they might find a cure for Duchenne I worried that meant I would have to give up Rita and I would never want to do that.
Finally, if you could have dinner with any three people, real or fictitious, living or deceased, who would you choose and why?
If I could have dinner with any three people I would choose my Grandpa Stalling (he passed away when I was 3), my old dog Sage (she passed away 4 years ago), and Katy Perry, the singer.
Will Nolan, Communications Director
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