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Douglas Elton

(Age 31)

Newfoundland and Labrador

When you meet me or another person who shares my diagnosis, the physical symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy are most likely what you notice first. However, for those who suffer with this disease, the worst thing Duchenne takes away can’t be seen – it takes away the hope of fulfilling your passions and dreams.

My name is Douglas Elton, and I am 31 years old. After years of coping with the consequences of this degenerative disease, I felt more and more defeated and gave up on pursuing my passions. I sank into a depressive state where I felt completely helpless as I came to terms with the fact my body was wasting away.

Confined to a wheelchair at age 11 and condemned to rely on breathing support many years later, I saw every ounce of freedom I once enjoyed fading away.

In 2018, taking back my passion meant I needed to travel again. Despite the inconveniences and ignorance I knew I would encounter, I visited seven European countries over two months. Train staff would ask questions like, “Do you really need all that stuff?” Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be here without all this equipment. But fortunately for members of the Duchenne community, our machines represent strides we’re making towards living more comfortably.

Even though I am only 31, for a young man living with Duchenne, it’s remarkable I’ve made it this far. One of the most important reasons people with Duchenne are living longer is because of donations, which are fueling the unprecedented momentum of Duchenne research.

Of course, I would love to be free of my wheelchair and ventilator – and one day, I hope that will be the reality for every individual who receives the life-altering diagnosis of Duchenne. What organizations, like Defeat Duchenne Canada, restore to sufferers of Duchenne cannot be measured in steps or breaths.

If we all keep working together and putting our time and money toward this cause, we will move beyond treatment and put an end to this cruel life-limiting disease forever.

When you make a one-time or monthly donation to combat the brutal effects of this disease, you’re contributing to an antidote for helplessness and hopelessness. You’re giving the gift of courage to individuals and families who can easily become consumed by their fears.

I recognize that making a large donation can be difficult for many people, but monthly donations – of any amount – can provide a steady stream of funding towards life-changing treatments and, ultimately, a future without Duchenne.

Thank you, in advance, for your donations. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know people are fighting alongside us. One day, research funded by you will redefine life with Duchenne.

Your generosity, and the research it catalyzes, will make it possible for more of us to dream bigger for longer.

Thank you,
Douglas Elton