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    Posted February 24, 2014 by
    Evanston, Illinois

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    Dance for Those Who Can't


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     This year, Northwestern University students will be dancing for a boy who is losing his ability to move. Eleven-year-old Joseph Penrod has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle degeneration disorder that occurs in 1 out of every 3,600 male infants, according to the National Institute of Health. The school’s dance marathon, held March 7-9, will benefit Team Joseph, an organization that funds research for the disease. Northwestern University journalism student Catherine Reid sat down with Joseph and his mother, Marissa, earlier this month on campus.

    “Marissa said she has tried more than anything to maintain Joseph's childhood,” Reid said. “He still plays with his friends in the neighborhood, but she has to explain to them at times why Joseph can't do certain things. Right now Joseph is able to walk short distances, but as his condition progresses he will lose that ability.”

    “Rather than just accepting the tragedy of her son's diagnosis, she did something about it. I think we all have a lot to learn from her,” Reid said.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Northwestern Dance Marathon chooses a new beneficiary each year. This year's beneficiary is Team Joseph, an organization that funds cutting edge research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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