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The Dystrophy Annihilation Research Trust, the first Research lab in India focusing on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) organized the Master Muscle Marathon 2017 at the GKVK Grounds today, with support from Strand Life Foundation, a not-for-profit enterprise established by Strand Life Sciences. The event saw an attendance of 600 participants who came out in support of individuals who are wheelchair bound and are unable to run.
Muscular Dystrophies are a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles which control movement. The muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles are also affected in some forms of Muscular Dystrophy (MD), and a few forms involve other organs as well. The main cause of muscular dystrophy is due to a defect in any one of the 79 exons responsible for the dystrophin protein. Muscular Dystrophy impacts 1 in 3500 boys in India. By the age of 8, most of these children are confined to wheelchairs due to the degeneration of muscles.
Mr. Ravdeep Singh Anand, Founder and President of DART, said, “We are a parent founded and funded NGO, and this is our maiden annual awareness and fund raising Marathon. This event’s objective is to purely create awareness among common people, as well as raise funds through this event for our research on muscular dystrophy.”
Speaking at the event, Dr. Vijay Chandru, Chairman and Managing Director, Strand Life Sciences, said, “It is extremely emotional to see such a huge number of participants come out for a cause as important as muscular dystrophy research. With a high incidence of this disease among children, it is absolutely necessary for us to focus our capabilities in working towards a solution that can provide them some hope for cure and regaining mobility. It is indeed encouraging to run with others who feel so strongly about this cause. We are honored to partner with DART for the marathon and help them raise awareness on the disease.”
The ‘Master Muscle Marathon’ is an initiative of DART INDIA NGO to create awareness about muscular dystrophy disease and the hardship faced by children all over the world. DART has also launched a comic series called ‘Master Muscle’ based on Karan, a young boy with Muscular Dystrophy who will turn into a neighborhood superhero in the Master Muscle series who helps people in need. This run was aimed at raising funds to aid research around muscular dystrophy.
Major organizations in Bangalore supported the marathon through donations and contributions. Maverik Mukherjee, General Manager - Delegate, Accor Hotels Karnataka, said on this occasion, “We are extremely happy to support the noble cause of creating awareness about muscular dystrophy through the Master Muscle Marathon, by providing food and refreshments for all marathon participants.”