Since the official start of the World Duchenne Organization in 2007 (then named United Parent Projects Muscular Dystrophy), the number of organizations connecting to the global community have increased steadily. This month, we proudly welcome our 40th member. La Force DMD is a Canadian-based community that uses out-of-this-world power to boost research and treatment in DMD.
About La Force
The patient organization is an initiative from Marie-Catherine Du Berger, mother of Anakin, a boy with Duchenne. “Our mission is to unite the DMD community to raise awareness around providing access to new treatments as fast as possible.” Based in Quebec, she pushes for a strong community where each member is an active spokesperson to raise awareness about DMD to the general public, while advocating for access to treatment.
How it all started
Seven years ago, Anakin was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Within six months, Marie-Catherine, Mireille Roy and friends established the non-profit La Force DMD. In the first year the organization helped families gain access to unapproved new treatment Ataluren for four children in Canada. “One of the things that contributed to this milestone is a powerful web video and media campaign. We were able to generate a web-based campaign gaining lots of views. With limited resources, we managed to reach the cover page of our national newspaper.”
Du Berger continues finding the positive side of things after the diagnosis, although she finds it sometimes tough to find the positive side of things when the faith of her son is already determined. “It can annihilate you as a parent. However, this doesn’t take away your right to take action and have hope.”
La Force is a positive way to transform bad news into an effort to create a strong community, because every step taken is essential in the pursuit in finding a cure for DMD. That there, is indeed strength in unity.
Marie-Catherine Du Berger, President, founder, communication director (mother of Anakin)
Daniel Lacasse, Director (father of Anakin)
Thélème Domon, Strategic alliance and development
Marie-André Touchette, Events Director and development
Olivier Charbonneau, Chief event coordinator