320-Foot Race Makes Strides in Muscular Dystrophy fight

Kyle Wells/FOX 17 photo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly 1,500 people attended a .1k road race on Saturday morning, to raise money and awareness about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. That’s a disease that affects young boys. The Muscular Dystrophy Association describes Duchenne as a “genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.”

Participants in the Fourth Annual GR.1K showed up at The B.O.B. in costumes and silly outfits to have fun with the children who are battling the muscle-wasting disease. Proceeds from the 320-foot race benefit the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, a parent-founded organization that’s leading the fight to cure the disease that affects nearly one in every 3,500 baby boys.

The cause is a personal one for Race Director Mike Friar, who has two sons with Duchenne.

“They’re usually diagnosed in their two to three-year-old stage and they usually last until their late teens, early 20’s,” Friar tells FOX 17.

Duchenne’s can affect a child’s heart and lungs, and eventually shorten their life. Though a cure hasn’t been found yet, many at the race say they have hope that one will be discovered.

“We’re trying to make a difference. The cure is in sight. We’re going to get this crew past the finish line and we probably got nine to 10 boys locally and most of them are here and we’re running for the boys,” Race Director Kyle Smith tells FOX 17.

Following the short race, attendees enjoyed live music, craft beer and a buffet.

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