Sen. Jim Matheson Speaks to Congress about Mitchell's Journey.



[Page H2305]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Utah 
(Mr. Matheson) for 5 minutes.

Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of an 
inspirational young man from my district. Mitchell Dee Jones from 
Herriman, Utah, passed away on March 2 of this year after a lifelong 
battle with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Mitch was a beloved son, brother, friend, and Latter-day Saint. He 
lived life to the fullest and loved others selflessly. In the very best 
ways, Mitch was a typical 10-year-old boy playing board games, building 
with Legos, four-wheeling, camping, and enjoying the outdoors in Utah 
with his family. His sense of humor, of adventure, and of devotion to 
his family touched thousands. Both in his life and in his passing, 
Mitch's dignity and gentleness, strength of spirit, and quiet resolve 
reveal his exceptional character.

I hope you will join me today in honoring the life of this very 
special young man who brought others together, who touched lives in a 
profound way, and who inspired us all.

Mitch's parents, Chris and Natalie Jones, have humbly shared their 
family's journey with our community in Utah and with countless others 
around the world. They opened their lives and Mitch's story so they 
might serve others, bringing an important awareness and a better 
understanding of their son's condition and that of others with Duchenne 
muscular dystrophy.

I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to learn more about 
Mitch's story and about Duchenne muscular dystrophy by following his 
father's Facebook journal called ``Mitchell's Journey.''
This coming Monday, on April 29, the city of Herriman, Utah, will 
honor Mitch's life with the recognition of Mitchell Jones Day. Here in 
our Nation's Capital, we can join together to do the same by 
familiarizing ourselves with the disease that ultimately took Mitch's 

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic muscular disorder that most 
often affects young boys and is characterized by a progressive muscle 
weakness and degeneration. It is typically diagnosed early in life and 
is usually fatal in the late teens or early twenties. For some, like 
Mitch, the disease progresses quickly and affects the voluntary muscles 
of limbs and torso and eventually the involuntary muscle function of 
the heart and lungs.

As legislators, it is stories like Mitch's that should remind us of 
the magnitude of our decisions about time and resources. The course we 
chart for our country is real for families like the Joneses in every 
congressional district. I believe as a country we have endless 
potential to improve outcomes of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and so 
many other diseases that our children face; and I think this should be 
a bipartisan effort.

As we work in service of our constituents, I hope we will all reflect 
on the Joneses in Herriman, Utah, and the priorities of real American 
families. These are citizens who inspire us to work harder, to do 
better, to solve problems, and to make a difference.

Mitch's legacy is one of love and compassion of an inspiring young 
man who faced every challenge with bravery and faith. Here in Congress 
we should strive to live and serve in the same way.