A 5K/1-mile run to benefit Duchenne muscular dystrophy research is slated for Saturday in Argyle.
The inaugural Argyle Run for our Sons 5K/1M Fun Run is scheduled to kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday at Hilltop Elementary School, 1050 Harrison Lane. Proceeds from the event are being donated to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the largest nonprofit organization in the United States with the mission to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
“We’re trying to make this very much a family event,” said Katie Lentini, a co-chair for the run. “It’s not just for runners but for families to come and enjoy it.”
In a play on the race tagline, “Sock It to Duchenne,” race participants are being asked “to wear their craziest Argyle socks,” said Doug Hollenshead, another co-chair.
As of Wednesday, nearly 250 people had registered for Saturday’s event, and roughly $35,000 had been collected for the cause. Organizers say they are expecting about 300 people to attend on race day.
Touched by the stories of families impacted by Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the Argyle Run for our Sons was established, Hollenshead said. In previous years an event known as Swing Time, a dinner and dance, was held in Argyle to bring awareness to the disease. Upon learning the event would not take place this year, race organizers said they wanted to do something fresh and make sure the message carried on, and so the race was established.
An event such as this is priceless, said Tricia Hope of Argyle.
“Without research, there’s no hope for us,” she said. “This disease does not have a cure.”
She knows all too well the effects of Duchenne’s. Hope said she lost her brother, Glen Mellette, to the disease 36 years ago. He was 12. Her son, 15-year-old Michael, also suffers from the debilitating disease.
According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that primarily affects boys beginning at ages 3 to 5. It’s caused by the absence of a protein keeping cells intact called dystrophin, and leads to muscle weakness and degeneration, according to the website. According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, until recently the life expectancy for boys with Duchenne’s was the teenage years, but because of several advances, life expectancy into the early 30s is becoming more common.
Michael celebrated his 15th birthday Sunday, and Hope said that with every birthday, she has a heavy heart because with each passing year her son is deteriorating. It’s hard to understand the disease unless you’re close to someone with it or know what it’s all about, she said.
“It’s just sad that their lives are being robbed at the time they’re just starting,” she said.
Duchenne’s has a lot of negatives and it’s terminal, Hope said, but it’s taught her family to enjoy the moments they have, make memories and not sweat the small stuff.
Hope said she intends to attend Saturday’s run with her husband, David; daughter, Haley; and Michael. She said her family is ecstatic about the event, hopes it inspires people and that they will enjoy it enough to make it an annual event.
“You’re just so dependent on events like this that raise money for research,” she said. “Research is just imperative. Without it, we have no hope.”
“Every little bit helps. If nobody does nothing, we’re not getting any further or any closer.”
Online registration will remain open through Wednesday and onsite registration opens at 7 a.m. Saturday.
For more information on the Argyle Run for our Sons 5K/1M Fun Run, visit www.parentprojectmd.org/Argyle.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.