“I biked 3 days for the ‘Duchenne Heroes’ charity project!”

Different mountain bike challenges, a lot of volunteers and one good cause: Collecting money for research on the Duchenne disease. One of our colleagues from SEKISUI S-LEC, Frank Schmitz, joined the “Duchenne Heroes” event in September. This is his story.

Hi, my name is Frank Schmitz, I am a Production Demand Scheduler at SEKISUI S-LEC in Roermond, the Netherlands. The last days were very exciting for me and three of my friends. We did a beautiful multi-day mountain bike tour from Belgium to the Netherlands. And the best: we have done this for a great charity cause. While biking, we collected money for medicine and better life quality for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

“Duchenne Heroes” is a sport event happening once a year with a simple idea: people cycle and raise money for the “Duchenne Parent Project” to kick Duchenne out of the world together! Robert Deenen, Wim Brankaert, Jeroen Laarmans and I participated as a team called “Limburgers Veur Duchenne”. The event offers three different mountain bike challenges and we took the last one from September 12th to September 14th: three days cross-country on beautiful single tracks and farm roads through the most beautiful areas from Belgium through Germany to the Netherlands. In total we biked 300 km and 3,600 height meters!

We were very happy that SEKISUI S-LEC gave us the opportunity to join the tour. The company covered the sponsor target fee as well as the participation fee for us – AND did something for a good cause at the same time. It is fantastic that SEKISUI S-LEC did its part, showed its commitment to Duchenne disease and made me very proud to work for such a caring company.

When we prepared for the start on September 12th, we did not really know what to except. The tour is different every year. But in the end, the whole effort was worth it. The tour is challenging but also one of the most spectacular ones!

In total, more than 952.000 euros have been collected for the project! The money will go to the “Duchenne Parent Project” to speed up the cure for children with Duchenne, and to improve medical care and a better future for everyone with Duchenne. It really works! The life expectancy of Duchenne patients has risen sharply in the last 10 years.

If anyone is interested in joining our team next year or if any other SEKISUI company would like to support the event in 2020, I am happy to give you more information. It would be great if more colleagues fighted Duchenne together with us!

If you would like to learn, please see the following websites:
www.facebook.com/limburgMTB (the Facebook page of our team)

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a hereditary disease that occurs particular in boys, mostly around the age of four. Duchenne slowly breaks down muscles, causing children to become weaker as they age. They can no longer walk around the age of 12 and the use of the arms is becoming increasingly difficult.

The patients’ muscle strength decreases until they can no longer eat independently, can no longer read a book, can no longer get dressed and have to be turned over eight times at night. If respiratory muscles become too weak, ventilation is required. By weakening the heart muscle, Duchenne is ultimately a fatal disease. Most of the patients are not older than 30 years.

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