Sen. Jim Matheson Speaks to Congress about Mitchell's Journey.
[Page H2305] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] IN HONOR OF MITCHELL DEE JONES 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 life. 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.