Dawn and Kevin Howell moved to Baydon 13 years ago, and have two lovely children, Eleanor (8), and Hayden (5). Sadly, on 14th February 2012, Hayden was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Looking at him now you wouldn’t think anything was wrong. He is a bright bubbly boy with a winning smile, and tons of energy. He loves school, and is doing well. He just needs a little help in PE lessons, and his ability to grip pens, knives, forks etc is a little on the weak side.
However, the effects of this disease are totally devastating, and ultimately life limiting. Unless a treatment can be found, Hayden will be wheelchair bound by the age of 15.
Dawn and Kevin decided to support Action Duchenne, a charity which supports research into treatment for this particular type of MD, as well as improving care services and promoting awareness.
Here are the basic details of just two of the exciting potential treatments they are helping to fund:
- Exon skipping, where the brain is ‘tricked’ into thinking that his DNA chain is not corrupted. This allows the body to start producing the Dystrophin enzyme again.
- Utrophin Upregulation (UU), where the body is encouraged to produce more Utrophin. This is a similar enzyme to Dystrophin, and trials so far seem to suggest that it is capable of taking over the role Dystrophin played, so long as his body produces enough of it.
Of course, the research, developments, and trialing of these treatments all require funding. The trials for UU on boys with the disease commenced in January.
Action Duchenne is entirely funded by donations, and they are desperately short of funds at the moment.
How can you help?
Dawn and Kevin have been doing all they can think of to raise money in aid of Action Duchenne and on April 13th, Dawn will be running the London Marathon. Her fundraising target for this is £2500.00. Simply go to her Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/dawn-howell1, and you will be guided through the online sponsorship process (which takes about 1 minute!).
In order to achieve her target, and as a fun event for the village, Dawn will be holding The Great Baydon Bake Off, open to residents of Baydon, and surrounding villages, of all ages! The Bake Off will be held at the Red Lion Pub in Baydon on 1st of March – you can find an entry form, as well as further details, on Dawn and Kevin’s website. Once a month, the weekly quiz at the Red Lion will also be held in aid of ‘Helping Hayden’.
For more information, please contact Dawn at 01672 540234 or visit www.helpinghayden.org