Team Teddy 5k fundraiser held in Ridgefield

On Sunday, Oct. 3, Ridgefield residents laced up their running shoes at Barlow Mountain Elementary School for the second annual Team Teddy 5k and “Kindness Rocks” project to raise awareness and funds in the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Ridgefield resident Kate White founded the event last year with a group of friends in place of her running the canceled 2020 Chicago Marathon for her son Teddy White. Teddy, 3, attends Barlow Mountain’s preschool program where is older brother, Caiden, is a first grader.

Kate and her husband, Justin, have joined Jessica and Chris Curran in the pursuit of finding a cure for DMD. The Currans’ 11-year-old son, Conner, who also attends BMES, was diagnosed with the disorder when he was 5.

The genetic condition affects mostly young boys and is marked by the progressive loss of muscle as the body fails to make dystrophin, a muscle-building protein. It also causes deterioration of the skeletal, cardiac and pulmonary muscles. Some 90 percent of boys with DMD become non-ambulatory in their early teenage years, and many don’t live past their late 20s.

Three years ago, Conner was the first patient dosed in an ongoing gene therapy clinical trial offered by Pfizer for boys with DMD, and since then he has shown some signs of improvement.

This year’s run raised more than $9,000 for Duchenne research with 55 runners participating, including some BMES teachers and therapists.