Saracens and Duchenne UK join together to tackle Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
England and Saracens fly-half, Owen Farrell backs new partnership with Duchenne UK.
Today (Friday 6th September), ahead of World Duchenne Awareness Day*, Saracens Rugby Club and Duchenne UK announce a new two-year partnership that aims to raise awareness and significant funds to support pioneering research into finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
DMD is a devastating muscle-wasting disease that currently has no cure. Around 2,500 boys in the UK and 300,000 worldwide are affected by this aggressive disease. The boys will be totally paralysed by their teens and won’t live beyond their 20s. Duchenne UK is committed to continuing to drive momentum to deliver treatments to help this generation of those with DMD.
Over the next two years, Saracens and Duchenne UK will work together on a number of fund and awareness raising activities including the Gallagher Premiership fixture against Harlequins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday 28th March 2020.
Duchenne UK and founding partner charity, Joining Jack has a long-standing relationship with Saracens. Owen Farrell has supported the charity personally through his relationship with co-founder and family friends, Andy and Alex Johnson and their son Jack, who has DMD.
Farrell’s iconic celebration sees him create the ‘JJ’ salute, hooking his forefingers to make the initials of Joining Jack – the charity set up by the Johnsons to raise funds for research into DMD. Now merged to form Duchenne UK, the charity has raised over £15m since launching in 2012 and is making huge inroads to finding treatments, but Duchenne UK still needs support to find a cure as they hope to eradicate DMD in ten years.
Alex Johnson and Emily Crossley, Duchenne UK co-founders, said: “We cannot thank the Saracens family enough for the support they have already given Duchenne UK and Joining Jack and we are looking forward to bringing our communities together to tackle DMD.
“We are making pioneering breakthroughs and we are incredibly grateful to Saracens for the opportunity to further help us in our mission to find treatments and a cure for DMD.”
Owen Farrell, Saracens fly-half and England captain, said: “I’ve been a proud supporter of Joining Jack for a number of years now and it is a cause close to my heart. The courage of Jack, Eli and all of the boys with DMD is very inspiring and I’m really happy to see that Saracens are joining forces with Duchenne UK to help tackle this devastating disease.”
Lucy Wray, Saracens board member, said: “I’m really excited about our partnership with Duchenne UK. At Saracens, family is at the heart of everything we do. We want everyone that comes into contact with Saracens to feel like they are part of this big family and we extend a very warm welcome to Duchenne and all the families affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“They are completely passionate and focused on every single pound going on research to find a cure and that’s why we’re so excited to support them in their efforts.”
*World Duchenne Awareness Day is Saturday 7th September