Jammin’ for Joseph: Music for a Cure
Marissa Penrod became a mother on a mission the day her son Joseph was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of five.
The disease is the most common degenerative genetic muscle disease in boys (it rarely presents in girls) and there currently is no treatment or cure. Muscle weakness can begin as early as age three and lead to permanent disability. The average life span for boys with Duchenne is late 20s to early 30s. Nearly 20,000 children are diagnosed each year.
Penrod started Team Joseph, a nonprofit organization named in Joseph’s honor, to help fund cutting-edge research with the aim of finding a cure for Duchenne.
“Having a child diagnosed with a devastating fatal disease throws you into a world, into a family of sorts, that you never asked to be a part of, but you cling to nonetheless,” she wrote in a Team Joseph blog post from 2011. “Here’s the singular, most powerful lesson that Duchenne has taught me – you cannot always choose what you’re handed, but you can always choose HOW you handle it.”
Joseph doesn’t let his disease define him and maintains a positive outlook as he moves forward, just like mom. His love for music inspired an annual benefit in his name, Jammin’ for Joseph. With the help of 99.5 WYCD, a Detroit country radio station, Team Joseph has organized events for six years with many gracious artists, all working toward a cure.
This year’s event takes place on Wednesday, March 22 at the Fillmore Detroit. It is a public concert with performances from The Eli Young Band and special guest William Michael Morgan. Tickets are available now on LiveNation.com, or without service fees directly from firstname.lastname@example.org – VIP options are also available.
Watch this video message from Joseph urging you to get your tickets for this special show.
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Photo credit: Shane K