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Pope praying for Sam today

Pope prays for DMD sufferers

Always hopeful: (From left) Dan, Jacob, Kelly, Sarah and Sam Uchytil (front) at his graduation from Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Primary School, Wavell Heights, last year.

POPE Francis offered prayerful support for the “humanitarian fight” of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the lead-up to its first international awareness day today (September 7). 

Pope Francis’ acknowledgement of sufferers and their families who live with the challenges of the degenerative muscle condition of one in about 3600 males has “humbled” Brisbane’s Kelly Uchytil, mother of DMD sufferer Sam, 14.  

“I feel both humbled and encouraged to know the Pope is holding each and every member of the Duchenne community, the children and adults with Duchenne, their parents, siblings, families, carers, medical teams, researchers and supporters in his personal prayers,” she said. “I’m grateful for his invaluable support in raising international awareness.” 

Pope Francis originally received a letter from fellow Argentinian Santiago Ordonez, a member of the international parent group of DMD. The pontiff confirmed his prayerful support of today’s inaugural Duchenne Awareness Day.

“I’ll pray for you during the Mass, praying to God to bless you and give you the strength to continue this humanitarian fight,” Pope Francis wrote. The Pope also acknowledged and thanked those who work every day to fight this disease and assist children and boys affected by Duchenne.

September 7 was chosen because of the 79 exons in the gene responsible for DMD. Brisbane’s Deborah Robins, of the United Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, said greater awareness and assistance was always welcomed.

Visit www.worldduchenneawarenessday.org or call 1300 70 60 89 for more information or to financially help.

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