MASON CITY, Iowa — Michael Staley and Wes Bates aren’t thinking of themselves as they work their way through RAGBRAI 42’s northerly route across our state.
Instead, they’re going across Iowa and the country for 9-year-old Gabe Griffin. He’s been diagnosed with a rare condition called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is one of nine forms of muscular dystrophy that is more common in boys and usually begins between the ages of three and five.
The condition drastically reduces the life expectancy of those born with the mutated gene.
“Duchenne patients when they turn 16, instead of getting a car, they’re going to be in a wheelchair. And when they turn 20, instead of coming to college they’re going to be losing their life,” said Staley.
“As dads we put Band-Aids on our kids. We fix them. When they fall, we fix them. I can’t fix this,” said Scott Griffin, Gabe’s dad. “That’s why we are fighting so hard.”
Until a cure is developed, Staley and Bates will continue their ride to raise awareness.