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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Go West, Young Man!

Traveling cross-country in an RV is no small feat for most people, let alone a young man with Duchenne's.

But that's exactly what Darius Weems, a 15-year-old with DMD did two summers ago. Mr. Weems, who lost an older brother to the same disease, had never been away from his hometown of Athens, Georgia. With a group of college-age friends, he set out on for Los Angeles, hoping to raise awareness of Duchenne's and that MTV's "Pimp My Ride" show would customize his wheelchair.

His adventure is the subject of a documentary, "Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life" (see trailer above), which has won wide acclaim at various film festivals across the country. As far as I am aware, the film has not been shown in the Philadelphia area yet, so I haven't seen it. If anyone reading this in another part of the country has seen it, please feel free to post your thoughts.

Darius Weems' journey just goes to show some of the great things that are possible to do even with Duchenne's, as long you are determined and have dedicated people around you who are willing to lend a helping hand. Those of us with DMD must make the most of a limited amount of time, and that's why his trip is so important. At the same time -- and I sometimes make this mistake myself -- there's really no way to predict how long any of us with this disease will be around, so I hope that this isn't the end of the great things that Darius Weems accomplishes in his life.

Good luck, Darius! May your life be filled with many more journeys...

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