Jesse’s Journey, Canada’s only national charity dedicated to ending the most common and most fatal form of muscular dystrophy, has become Defeat Duchenne Canada. It’s a new name but with the same mission – to defeat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The London-based organization has united families, raised awareness and funded almost $15 million in research projects around the world. After more than 30 years under the banner of Jesse’s Journey, Canada’s leading fundraiser for Duchenne muscular dystrophy has partnered with its vibrant community members to choose a new name that reflects their nationwide impact.
“John and Jesse Davidson founded Jesse’s Journey in 1995 to provide leadership in research, advocacy and support in the fight to defeat Duchenne muscular dystrophy,” says Defeat Duchenne Canada CEO, Perry Esler. “Their vision remains our foundation. But, now is the time to broaden our reach, engage and support more families across Canada, fund more research and gain the Federal support needed to make even greater progress towards our ultimate goal: to defeat Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”
One in every 5,000 boys is born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common fatal form of muscular dystrophy diagnosed in children.
The disease is relentless. It slowly weakens the body’s muscles, deteriorating the function of vital organs and ultimately – shortens their life. Although there are medical treatments that may help slow its progression, there is currently no cure and life expectancy hovers in the early thirties.
“Numerous charities are vying for the hearts and minds of Canadians,” Esler explains. “It’s imperative our message is strong and consistent: we are Canada’s only national charity dedicated to ending Duchenne, and we need national support to find a cure. We are excited about the increased potential to fulfil our mission, which was inspired by our Founder John’s love for his son, Jesse.”
Now is the time for all Canadians to join the fight to defeat Duchenne. Learn more and donate today: defeatduchenne.ca.
About Defeat Duchenne Canada Defeat Duchenne Canada is the country’s only national charity dedicated to ending Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Our goal is to provide leadership in research, advocacy and support to ensure our boys can live long and active lives. Website: www.defeatduchenne.ca
Jesse’ Journey Founder – John Davidson
For 24 years, the Jeff Preston Celebrity Golf Tournament held in Port Elgin and hosted by the Port Elgin Rotary Club, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Jesse’s Journey.
The Tournament’s namesake, Jeff Preston, who has Muscular Dystrophy, has gone on to a successful career with a PhD in Media Studies and as a motivational speaker. Today, he is an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King’s University College at Western University in London, ON and an advocate for those with disabilities.
Born in Port Elgin (ON) Preston was diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy at the age of three months, which requires him to use an electric wheelchair. Throughout his life, he has advocated for the needs of himself and others with disabilities who hope to live independent and barrier-free lives.