2013 has been a year of incredibly high highs and incredibly low lows. Sometimes those lows have overshadowed all the highs—and for good reason. It’s impossible to put into words how devastating the setbacks are.

But our community is and has always been stronger than the setbacks. We may be fighting a disease that takes away muscle, but you are the strongest people I’ve ever known. It’s during our biggest challenges that strength matters most, and I know we’ll get through this together.

No matter the difficulties Duchenne throws our way, we still have so much to appreciate. So I want to step away from the noise of social media, breaking news, and life in general for just one moment to tell you what I’m personally thankful for. Three things, which drive everything I do, come to mind:

  1. My family—my husband, my girls, and the ever-present spirit of my boys.
  2. The PPMD Team—an incredibly talented and passionate group of people who dedicate themselves to our mission and to your children.
  3. You—however you’re connected to PPMD, whatever circumstances brought you here, you are part of this community, and you are part of my family. When we hold each other up, when we support one another, when we unite, we are unstoppable. Together, we have the strength it will take to end Duchenne.

Thinking of you all gives me the strength I need to take another deep breath, roll up my sleeves, and keep going.

I truly believe simple actions drive us forward, even and especially during the tough moments, when it’s difficult to think of moving forward at all. Please take a moment today to share with us what you’re grateful for this year—the blessings you may not acknowledge as often as you’d like. It’s a small thing, but we have to start with that single action, that simple step away from the challenge and toward the progress we so desperately need.

Thank you for being on this journey with me, and for all the actions you take that fuel our fight. None of us expected to be here, but I am so grateful to have you and your strength in my life.

Warm holiday wishes,



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Comment by Tuyet Lan Thi Tran on November 28, 2013 at 8:34pm
Thanks to you, Pat,I just read the story today. We are the family will make the Duchene disappear, I hope.
Comment by Peter on November 28, 2013 at 5:16pm

Thanks Pat, Thanks all members. Although we are spread all around the world I feel much stronger knowing the community is there. 

Comment by Trinh Nguyen on November 28, 2013 at 3:41am

Thanks Pat. You are our hero.

Thanks PPMD staff.

Thanks all members.

I have found my strength here.

Comment by Sandra M. Lazenby on November 26, 2013 at 10:09pm

I am so grateful for these boys and the joy they bring to our lives!

Comment by Grzegorz Majchrzak on November 26, 2013 at 5:03pm
Thank you Pat.

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