For Anthony DeVergillo, a young man from Bedminster, N.J., who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), there is no time to waste in finding potential treatments. In a visit with Mallinckrodt employees in the company’s Specialty Brands office in Bedminster to promote DMD awareness and action, Anthony shared his inspiring and poignant journey, and the struggles he has faced since being diagnosed at age 2. A strong theme of his talk was his focus on his abilities and not his disability. Anthony is an advocate and volunteers with the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD). Nicole Herring from PPMD also attended the event and shared information about the organization and the importance of companies working toward DMD treatments.
September is DMD Action Month and Mallinckrodt was proud to support awareness with a day dedicated to the cause. The company encouraged employees to wear red, hosted a 0.1K walk, had ice cream, and provided a $5,000 donation to PPMD, as part of its support of organizations that work to improve the lives of those living with this disorder.
DMD is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. It is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy. It is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. Symptom onset is in early childhood, usually between ages 3 and 5. The disease primarily affects boys, but in rare cases it can affect girls.
“Patients are at the center of all we do, and these types of events help us understand the impact that we can have on someone’s life,” said Cathy Jackson, Director of Advocacy Relations at Mallinckrodt. “All Mallinckrodt employees should know that what we do makes a difference, and there are people like Anthony depending on us every day. They don’t give up, and we can’t either.”
Click here to view Mallinckrodt’s DMD INFOGRAPHIC.
- Many Faces of DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY World Duchenne Awareness Day
- BrainPOP animation about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Dystrophin