2008 YOUTH AWARD
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
In 2008, Darius Weems was a 19-year old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a fatal disease that took the life of his brother, Mario, and is the number one genetic killer of children worldwide. Despite the fact that his muscles have almost fully deteriorated Darius has spent the last 3 years traveling the country, raising awareness and money to find a cure for DMD.
Never before having left his hometown, Darius and 11 friends rented a wheelchair accessible RV in 2005 for a road trip to Los Angeles to raise awareness as they traveled all across the nation. The journey was filmed and released as Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life. The film has won 25 awards worldwide, 20 of which are Audience Choice Awards, and raised more than $1 million for DMD research.
Darius donated his World of Children grant funds to Charley’s Fund (www.charleysfund.org), an organization dedicated to finding a cure.