NORTH ROYALTON, OHIO (WOIO) - Just nine years old, John Owen Dumm's body has betrayed him. At age 4, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, now 9-years-old, his legs no longer work, he's in a wheelchair, and the disease is attacking his arms.
John Owen is struggling, but he has a tremendous support system to help him get through the difficult days, and that support system is coming together, participating in the Cleveland Marathon Race Weekend to help raise money to fight Duchenne.
At least 60 of John Owen's family members, friends and supporters will be running in one of this weekends races and $10,000 has already been pledged. The money will go to the non-profit, "John Owen's Adventure" and then in turn directly to research in hopes of finding a cure for Duchenne. Since John Owen was diagnosed, and his parents, Jen and Tony founded the non-profit, they have raised over $200,000 dollars for Duchenne research.
Evan Rosberil, John Owen's friend since preschool, and a classmate at St. Albert the Great in North Royalton, plans on running, "Well, since my friend can't run and I can, I wanted to raise money so we can get the medicine he needs to cure him," said Evan.
John Owen seemed a little overwhelmed by all the people who have pledged to run, "I feel really, really good that people are running for me," he said.
Overwhelmed does not come close to how Jen Dumm feels about the people who have stood by them the past five years, "To have the amazing support of our community and our extended family here at St. Albert the Great literally lifts our hearts everyday," she said.