Conquer the Canyon?  Really?  What are you thinking?

Seems like a long time ago, Kimberly and I went to the Starting point of the Disney Marathon. I had no idea what to expect, having never watched a marathon and absolutely no desire to run a city block let alone 26.2 miles. One mom had called Kimberly to talk about running marathons to raise money for research. Kimberly called me and asked if I thought we could find some runners.

My view of running was simple. It was something my sons could never do and while, in the scheme of things, it didn’t really matter, after all 99.9% of people probably never run, it was a ‘burr’ in my saddle, something just under my skin, a mosquito bite of sorts, a reminder of things of the list of things my sons could not do. I had always wished Chris and Patrick could run, just one time to feel how the wind slicks back your hair, how for those few minutes you feel unstoppable and how all of your muscles are synchronized, the music of health.

But here we were, our first Disney marathon. We sat the start line, watching a sea of legs, 20,000 runners or so line up to hear the crack and pop of the fireworks, the signal to start of the race. It may seem strange, but we had to fight back tears. Our first marathon involved 80 runners and most of them, not really runners, runners by choice, running for our sons, all of our sons and 19,920 others running for someone or something they care deeply about.

I stood on my feet and began to cheer, cheering for the runners, cheering for our sons, cheering for all of us and suddenly, in my head, I was a runner, not the kind of runner committed to several miles each day and longer runs on weekends, but the kind of runner that gears up for something important, something meaningful, a runner with a single goal… to run FOR our sons and WITH our sons and BECAUSE of our sons. I started running, my own sort of jog, a speed walk if you will, but fast enough to complete the 1/2 marathon in the allotted time and for the last 5 years, look forward to this race because it has the power to change lives.

But the Grand Canyon? ... Hiking?

My definition of hiking is walking on a warm beach, sand between my toes. How deep is the canyon? What will we find there? A little piece of heaven – the Duchenne community turning passion into power and money into promising research.

Please consider joining me as I embark on this crazy adventure – 3 nights and 4 days in Phoenix and the Grand Canyon that will change our lives – and more importantly – the lives of our boys, for the better.



Pat Furlong, Founding President, CEO
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