‘We are blessed by support and generosity’ When Sandy and Steve Peterson’s son Mitchell was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in 1999, they wondered where they could turn for support. They reached out to another family who also had a son diagnosed with DMD and through them made a connection with Parent Project MD (PPMD). “Sandy and I were introduced to PPMD in the very earliest stage of Mitchell’s diagnosis. During those early stages we were very confused and had little information on what we should do, what specialists we needed to see, and knowing the best care we could provide for Mitchell,” recalled Mitchell’s dad Steve. “Parent Project MD offered to us a complete education and a road map to follow in caring for our son. They are an amazing recourse for parents and families of boys with Duchenne MD.” “Our ultimate objective of Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford [MRTR] is to find a cure for Duchenne MD,” added Steve. “MRTR is working to raise funding and raise awareness of DMD. When celebrities like the Green Bay Packers’ Clay Mathews, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, and the NCAA Coaches for a Cure become involved, it’s amazing how the level of awareness increases. Awareness increases 10 fold. At a local level, MRTR has created a high of awareness of DMD in West Michigan. I believe awareness creates personal and community interest, community interest creates funding, funding will ultimately lead to a cure.” Those within the Rockford community are becoming more familiar with PPMD from the efforts of the Peterson family and their 5K race named Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford 5K Run/Walk and Kids for Kids K. All proceeds from this race are donated to PPMD in Mitchell’s name. This year’s event is set for Saturday, August 18, at 8:30a.m. “This will be our 14th year,” said Sandy. “The truth is, our family and all the families affected by DMD are blessed with the amazing generosity of all of the people who have participated, volunteered and supported Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford over the years.” To register or volunteer for the event, visit their website at mitchellsrun.org.
Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford
Going and growing Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford enjoyed another amazingly succesful event this year, with 1,800 runners participating and raising $77,000. In its eleventh year, the Run has donated over $600,000 to Project Parent Musucular Dystrophy in Mitchell Peterson’s name. Mitchell, 13, along with family and volunteers, has raised awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“It was a banner year,” Sandy Peterson said of the 2009 Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford. In its eleventh year the annual event blew away last year’s top number of runners and walkers with an increase of about 400 to a best-ever 1,800 participating. The total amount raised for Project Parent Muscular Dystrophy was another record-breaker at $77,000. “I’m flabbergasted,” Peterson said of the total, especially in a year when so many charities are hurting from lower donations. Volley for Mitchell the week before raised $8,000, the picnic raised $1,000, two major donors, Meijer and Wolverine contributed to the total by covering race costs, a silent auction raised $8,000 and just plain gift donations came to an amazing ten grand. “It is a really great charity. People seem to have taken a hold of this cause and our son, and been very generous,” Peterson said. Late registration was huge with about 600 people signing up the morning of the event, and the action in town kept the organization’s 140-plus volunteers busy. “There was a lot of energy in downtown Rockford that day, that’s for sure,” Peterson commented. To date the event has donated more than $600,000 to Project Parent MD. “They are really making some great strides in finding a cure for this disease,” said Peterson. “I hope people will know that.”
Annual event has raised over half a million for Project Parent MD by BETH ALTENA This weekend area residents—and runners from as far away as Israel, Canada and the United Kingdom—have the chance to be part of something big—and have a great time in downtown Rockford. The eleventh annual Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, August 15. It is a five K run/walk, but those who don’t care to pound the pavement will still find plenty to do. The day’s events also include a kids run at 9:30 a.m.. a silent auction which ends at 10:30 a.m. and a family picnic held on the banks of the Rogue River at Garden Club park. There will be music, vendor booths and a nice opportunity to enjoy Rockford’s inviting downtown. Eleven years ago Sandy and Steve Peterson, along with a group of friends, organized the first Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford as a way to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Their son, Mitchell, had recently been diagnosed with the disease. At that time he was only three. Now in its eleventh year, the five K run/walk, kids run, silent auction and family picnic has surpassed all expectations and become one of Rockford’s most well-attended annual events. Last year Mitchell’s Run generated an amazing donation of $74,000 for Project Parent MD, an organization that is working to find a cure for Duchenne. The total puts donations in Mitchell’s name at well over a half million dollars for the ten years. As importantly, the Rockford run has been a leader in educating people about the disease. “From the beginning it has been as much about education as fund raising,” said Sandy Peterson. She said she’d be surprised if there was a person in Rockford who has not heard of the disease, which strikes only boys and worldwide afflicts one in every 3,500. There is no cure for the disease—yet. “I think people are more likely to know, if they see a boy in a wheelchair, that it might be Duchenne,” Sandy said. Here in West Michigan there are 35 to 50 boys with the disease. The Peterson’s attribute the success of the event to the town, the merchants, the volunteers and the community. “We literally take over […]
Sun and fun and the new sand courts at the Score Restaurant and Sports Bar, 5301 Northland Drive, is the site of this year’s Volley for Mitchell. In its third year, this event is open to all, and organizer Pete MacGregor would like to see more teen teams sign up. Middle school and high school age kids will have as much fun as the “weekend warriors” on this one-day event. On Saturday, August 8, play will begin at 8 a.m. but the money raised will be appreciated forever. All funds go to Project Parent, a Rockford organization which donates money to find a cure for Duschenne Muscular Dystrophy. Rockford’s Mitchell Peterson, who will enter eighth grade next school year, has rallied the town while he fights the disease. Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford is coming up on Saturday, August 15 and is in its eleventh year. Last year’s event, which also included a family picnic, live bands, a silent auction and fun activities, raised an astronomical $72,200. Volley for Mitchell contributed $7,200 to that total last year and would like to top $10,000 with this year’s event. MacGregor said the day is sure to fun for all who participate. Last year over 150 people signed up for the four-on-four tournament. This year Score donated the use of its new sand, volleyball courts. There is a new sponsor, Timberland Pro, in addition to others, such as Print Rockford which donates printing, Rockford Ambulance, the Corner Bar and ChoiceOne Bank. State Representative Tom Pearce is expected MC again. The play is co-ed teams, although all-girl teams are accepted. It is rally-style scoring, points on every volley, first to 15, best two out of three win Match. First place wins a cool prize. The cost is $60 per team with another $25 to receive a t-shirt. More information is available at www.volleyformitchell.org. MacGregor said the idea was conceived when he was sitting around a campfire with Mitchell’s parents Sandy and Steve Peterson. MacGregor said he knows how much Rockford supports the family and their cause, and though this would be a good venue for those who aren’t runners. Watch for more on this year’s Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford or visit at www.mitchellsrun.org.