In search of a cure

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Family, frinds come together to help child fight Duchenne muscular dystrophy

AMHERST - When he was four years old, Angela Ryan's son Jacob was having difficulty jumping.

AMHERST - When he was four years old, Angela Ryan's son Jacob was having difficulty jumping.

Worried that something was wrong with his hip, his parents took him to the doctor and soon received the shock of their lives - Jacob was diagnosed with the fatal Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Jacob, now eight and a French immersion student at Spring Street Academy, has not let the disease slow him down. He lives an active lifestyle playing with friends and just finished another season of little league baseball.

His family and friends are coming together to help fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy later this month by hosting a wine and cheese charity auction at the Amherst Fire Department on Saturday, Sept. 22, beginning at 8 p.m.

"Duchenne is the most common lethal disorder diagnosed in childhood," Ryan said. "It's progressive in that it starts off without you knowing anything's wrong and gradually gets worse to eventually the heart muscles and lungs give in and they die."

Popular entertainer Michael Pellerin will perform the music of Johnny Cash while there'll be a cash bar and an assortment of wines and cheeses catered by chef Geoff Phinney.

Part of the evening's activities will be a live auction with Amherst's deputy mayor George Baker and featuring an assortment of items donated by local merchants and individuals. A highlight of the auction is a jacket worn by Springhill songbird Anne Murray and featured on the cover of Air Canada's En Route magazine. The successful bidder will win the jacket and an autographed copy of the magazine.

"My aunt, Donna Martin, was asked to model one of Anne Murray's outfits and she came up with the idea of getting one of the outfits and raising money for muscular dystrophy," Ryan said.

Ryan said there's a lot of research taking place on Duchennes right now that could have a positive impact not only on those suffering from this disease but also for those with Cystic Fibrosis.

Other big prizes include train fare to Montreal from VIA Rail Canada as well as a golfing weekend at Fox Harb'r. There will also be a lot of sports memorabilia on the auction block.

Tickets can be purchased at Gordon's Ladies Wear or by calling Ryan at 661-3231, Donna Martin at 597-3831, Lisa Sangster at 660-2401 or Jean Martin at 597-3162.



dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Street Academy, Amherst Fire Department, Air Canada VIA Rail Canada Gordon's Ladies Wear

Geographic location: AMHERST, Montreal

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