We spend most of our lives in running shoes. This past year in particular, there were added worries, and it felt like we had to run stronger and faster, often without taking a moment to catch our breath.

On Thanksgiving, it is important to loosen those laces, put the shoes in a corner, and take a moment to bow our heads and give thanks.

I am thankful…
•…for amazing advances in research. Our End Duchenne Grant Award Program invested almost $1 million in research, leveraging more than $18 million from the NIH. We hope to add more clinical trial candidates for promising compounds in the next six months.
•…that "Care Considerations in Duchenne" will be published in the January and February issues of Lancet which defines optimal care for Duchenne. It will empower physicians and parents and open the door for children worldwide to access optimal care.
•…that collaborations have expanded and that major pharmaceutical companies have joined our fight to End Duchenne.
•…to the Duchenne community, for your relentless efforts to have the voices of our sons heard.
•…for the continued "can do" spirit of every family, clinician, and researcher, and the partnerships with organizations that are working together for the benefit of so many young men with Duchenne.
While I always have my running shoes on for Duchenne, this year I found myself in another race. My husband Tom was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Like the word Duchenne, the word cancer entered our home uninvited. After losing Chris and Patrick, we sort of figured that we had a "get out of jail free" card for the rest of our lives. It was devastating, but we found a world of support and prayers from family, friends, and this wonderful, supportive community. And I'm happy to say that Tom is in treatment and doing well.

Although I do not say it nearly often enough, I am most grateful for the support of family and friends. In my life, you make all the difference in the world.

Please tell me what you're thankful for. Post your thoughts below. Because you are a part of the PPMD family, we would like to share in your challenges and celebrations.

Happy Thanksgiving. And again, I can't thank you all enough for the amazing support you've shown all year long.

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Comment by Char Burke on December 3, 2009 at 1:17am
I am thankful for PPMD and all the work you have done and continue to do. I felt so small and shattered about the DMD diagnosis. You gave me your cell number and talked me - threw me a lifeline so I wouldn't drown in the sorrow. Thank you for introducing us to Dr. Wong...and CCMC.
I'll pray that your Tom recovers from his colon cancer. My brother-in-law is recovering too - stage 3.
Thank you for all you have done from the bottom of my heart.
Char Burke
Comment by Monica on December 1, 2009 at 8:49am
My mother was sdiagnosed with colon cancer that had spread two lymph nodes when she was 41. She will turn 60 this week! Has been cancer free since!
Comment by JUAN PEDRO ARBULU on November 29, 2009 at 11:25pm
I am thankful for my son Juan, my family and friends, for having God with us and for having the faith I have.
I am thankful for my life and the chance of raising up my incredible kid.
Comment by afsaneh on November 29, 2009 at 6:44am
Things I'm thankful for:
The support of friends and people.The laughter of my son and daughter .The work that PPMD does all year long.efforts of researchers.
Pat and the staff and PPMD.
parents who are stuggling against allproblems they have everyday but they run without becoming tired.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Also wishing pouya and all duchenne and other muscular dystrophy patients good health and cure.
Comment by Gretchen Letteney on November 28, 2009 at 6:55pm
I am thankful that I had my son, Jim, in my life. Sadly, Jim lost his battle with Duchenne MD on July 30th. He was 21 and he had cardiomyopathy. His heart was too tired to go on. I am thankful that his suffering is over and I know that his spirit lives on. I am thankful to Pat for starting PPMD and for all of the people who work so tirelessly with her.
Jim was very sad that there was no way to prolong his life because there is no cure yet. I thank God for all of the people who are helping to raise awareness of DMD and funding for research and the best care for those with DMD. I am thankful for Jim and his life which touched so many people. He was positive until the end. I am thankful that he was at home at the end. Also, I am thankful for my daughter, Jenn, who is 25 and has epilepsy and autism. I have gratitude for things such as my health and for little things such as a sunny day.
Thanksgiving was rough and so will Christmas but I am grateful that my son's spirit lives on.
Comment by Deb Robins on November 28, 2009 at 6:46pm
A lame & late but I hope equally sincere "greeting card" thanks because I think so often of the old hymn about God not promising 'flower strewn paths and skies always blue' and trying to work out what they might represent - perhaps the people we would not otherwise have met?

God hath not promised we’d sleep through the night
That teachers and doctors would accept that we’re right.
He hath not warned of flat days and flat tyres
Snake oil salesmen and all kinds of liars.

God hath not promised cough assists and vents
Stores without stairs or vans without dents.
He hath not sewn our hearts on our sleeves
Or made the politicians just wish we would leave.

But God hath promised to help all of us
If we helped ourselves & not sat on our butts
So PP opened this social networking door
To a Duchenne Community that I’m thankful for.
Comment by Garrett Rodes, on November 28, 2009 at 1:36pm
I am thankful to be home after a successful neck surgery on Monday. There are so many other things and other people (like Pat) that I am especially thankful for but I must say that it is my wife who I am the most thankful to for all she has done to make my son's life (and now mine) as normal as possible. Thanks Jennifer! - Ronnie
Comment by Phyllis on November 27, 2009 at 10:04pm
I am so thankful for my wonderful family and friends and the support of all those close to our family and Kyle. I am so thankful for our health and that in this moment we are all living each day to the fullest without looking back or for that fact not looking forward we are looking at this moment. Although I am only one year into the Duchenne's world I see the slow decline my son has and the things he has trouble doing or cannot do so we choose to make each moment a part of our permanent memory..i am most thankful to GOD for giving me the strength to look ahead with hope and the ability to focus on all the possibilities we have in store rather than the negative things that may one day paralyze our family...I am greatful to all the doctors, researchers and individuals like Pat Furlong who wont stop fighting the fight...There are no words to describe the lengths I will travel to keep my son ahead in the fight...this will be a long journey for us but it will be a journey we take together..God bless you all and have a wonderful holiday season...
Comment by Perlita & Gordy Hains on November 26, 2009 at 10:29pm
I am most thankful for the adoring family I have helping us thru Levi's journey. I am thankful for Luke & Lance, Levi's Big bro's that adore him beyond words. I am thankful for the strength God has given me to be joyous for my 3 sons. I give Thanks for Dr. Finkel & all the others that are so diligent in their fight to End Duchenne. SIMPLY PUT... I AM THANKFUL.
Comment by Ian Anthony Griffiths on November 26, 2009 at 7:46pm
Thanks to all the kids and men living with Duchenne, for their spirit and our smiles :)

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