Yesterday I spoke of being a weary traveler stumbling down a broken road. This morning I awoke contemplating how life is a journey of many roads. I never imagined that Mitchell’s Journey would become woven into the journey of so many others. There was no way to know this journey of grief and sorrow would touch hearts and inspire people to choose different paths for their betterment. Or that people would rediscover love, family and faith. We are deeply humbled by all that has happened and still trying to put our heads around everything. 

In truth, we would rather be an invisible family living out our lives with Mitch and our other kids. Mitch never wanted to be a catalyst for awareness or a source of inspiration … he just wanted to be 10. With all that I am, I wish I could have given that to him. But such was not our lot. To my great heartache, my son is gone and I can’t change that. But I can choose the steps before me – and I hope I can be like the Good Samaritan who stops to love and lift another.

It wasn't long after Mitchell’s passing I received a message from Melissa Dewitt of Colorado. Sometime prior she started following Mitchell’s Journey and was touched by our sons fight to survive. A stranger to us at the time she sent us a message that she might be in Salt Lake City soon and wanted to meet my family and visit Mitchell’s place of rest. With thousands of messages a month, it isn't possible to respond to everyone; though we try … we really try. Somehow the stars aligned and we connected. We were so touched by her kindness. 

Within a few months Melissa and her family came to Salt Lake City and met us at the cemetery. It was both sobering and wonderful. They are such a loving, sincere family and we were blessed by the chance to know them. Since that meeting we have considered them dear friends of our family and our lives are richer because of them.

Just recently Melissa, having been moved by Mitchell’s Journey, decided to support PPMD – an organization that is leading the DMD & medical communities to find a solution to this fatal disease. 

On May 18th Melissa will be running for “Run for Our Sons” … a PPMD fundraiser. For those who followed our story earlier last year, you’ll remember Pat Furlong of PPMD was the one that reached out to us and rallied the national medical community to try and save our son. Pat Furlong moved heaven and earth to try and save Mitch. We love and honor Pat and PPMD. They are making a difference. Every single day PPMD makes a difference. Every day they are driving solutions one step closer to a cure. But alas, a cure remains miles away. 

For those who are able, please support our friend Melissa in her efforts to honor Mitch and run for our sons. http://www.parentprojectmd.org/site/TR?px=1550221&fr_id=3210&pg=personal

I am inspired by the many Good Samaritans we have met along our own journey. Melissa is one of them. She, like all of us, has a life and/or family to love and care for. She has a journey and road to travel that is uniquely hers – yet she decided to spend time and energy to help others who are afflicted with DMD. Other boys like Mitch. I love and honor her for that.

And then there’s Pat Furlong … a remarkable mother who lost two boys to DMD. Two. My eyes well with tears as I contemplate the enormity of her loss; two wonderfully, precious sons just like Mitch. She didn't shrink under the profound sorrow of losing her boys – rather she rose like a lion in defense of our sons and started PPMD two decades ago. Her road was also broken, yet she carried her broken heart while leading and lifting others. I am in awe of her.

So on this journey of many roads, I salute the Good Samaritans who take time while traveling their own journey, often at the expense of comfort or convenience, to help another. Melissa & Pat, and so many of you who reach out to lift and love, to lead and change … you inspire me. Every single day, you inspire me.