Jesse's Journey Foundation

Defeat Duchenne. Change Lives.


COVID-19 is having a significant impact on every aspect of our lives. While this is an uncertain time for all of us, the fight to defeat Duchenne continues. Below you’ll find Douglas Elton’s inspirational story. His message speaks to the heart of what we’re experiencing right now – conquering our fears, never losing hope, and being resilient in the face of adversity.

Challenging times call for the entire Duchenne community to come together and support each other. Please continue to support the life-changing research needed to defeat Duchenne.

Perseverance in the Face of Adversity

I am writing you this letter in the hopes you’ll consider joining the fight or reaffirm your commitment to supporting people, like me, to recapture the vitality Duchenne threatens to take away. More than that, I am asking you to reinvigorate our hope: hope for a treatment to stop the progression of this disease and create a future without Duchenne.

When you meet me or another person who shares my diagnosis, the physical symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy are most likely what you notice first. However, for those who suffer with this disease, the worst thing Duchenne takes away can’t be seen – it takes away the hope of fulfilling your passions and dreams.

My name is Douglas Elton, and I am 30 years old. After years of coping with the consequences of this degenerative disease, I felt more and more defeated and gave up on pursuing my passions. I sank into a depressive state where I felt completely helpless as I came to terms with the fact my body was wasting away.

Confined to a wheelchair at age 11 and condemned to rely on breathing support many years later, I saw every ounce of freedom I once enjoyed fading away.

In 2018, taking back my passion meant I needed to travel again. Despite the inconveniences and ignorance, I knew I would encounter; I visited seven European countries over two months. Train staff would ask questions like, “Do you really need all that stuff?” Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be here without all this equipment. But fortunately, for members of the Duchenne community, our machines represent strides we’re making towards living more comfortably.

Even though I am only 30, for a young man living with Duchenne, it’s remarkable I’ve made it this far. One of the most important reasons people with Duchenne are living longer is because of donations, which are fueling the unprecedented momentum of Duchenne research.

Of course, I would love to be free of my wheelchair and ventilator – and one day I hope that will be the reality for every individual who receives the life-altering diagnosis of Duchenne. What organizations, like Jesse’s Journey, restore to sufferers of Duchenne cannot be measured in steps or breaths.

If we all keep working together and putting our time and money toward this cause, we will move beyond treatment and put an end to this cruel life-limiting disease forever.

When you make a one-time or monthly donation to combat the brutal effects of this disease, you’re contributing to an antidote for helplessness and hopelessness. You’re giving the gift of courage to individuals and families who can easily become consumed by their fears.

I recognize that making a large donation can be difficult for many people, but monthly donations – of any amount – can provide a steady stream of funding towards life-changing treatments and, ultimately, a future without Duchenne.

Thank you, in advance, for your donations. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know people are fighting alongside us. One day, research funded by you will redefine life with Duchenne.

Your generosity, and the research it catalyzes, will make it possible for more of us to dream bigger for longer.

Thank you,

Douglas Elton

P.S. Read more about the current research investments, thanks to supporters like you, by clicking here.

Hope Through Research

For 25 years, Jesse’s Journey has invested in the most promising advancements towards improving the lives of those affected by Duchenne. Granting more than $11.5 million, to date, Jesse’s Journey continues to be Canada’s largest funder of Duchenne research.

While the pace of scientific discovery never seems to move fast enough, the pipeline of potential treatments for Duchenne has never been so full of promise. By becoming a monthly donor, you will not only contribute to this exciting momentum, but you will also be committing to supporting timely and affordable access to therapies for boys and young men in Canada.


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a considerable impact on our endowment fund that supports vital Duchenne research. Now, more than ever, your donation is critical to ensuring the momentum of promising research does not stop. From the bottom of our heart – thank you for your gift.


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