Duchenne UK news

Saracens and Duchenne UK to raise funds for DMD Hub at Evelina London Children's Hospital

Today (Monday 2 December) Saracens and Duchenne UK have announced that their two-year partnership will raise money to support the ongoing work into finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the DMD Hub site, Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Funding at Evelina London will give more boys in London and the south-west the opportunity to take part in crucial clinical trials over the next year and will fund a clinical research fellow and a physiotherapist to ensure that further research into DMD can take place at the hospital in central London.

Evelina London is one of a network of 11 DMD Hub sites across the UK undertaking clinical trials into Duchenne.

Since the DMD Hub was set up in 2015, Duchenne UK has helped recruit more than 250 boys to take part in DMD trials who otherwise may not have had that opportunity.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a devastating muscle-wasting disease that currently has no cure. It almost always effects boys with around 2,500 boys in the UK and 300,000 worldwide affected by this aggressive disease.

The boys become wheelchair dependant by their teenage years and won’t live beyond their 20s. Duchenne UK is committed to continuing to drive momentum to deliver treatments to help this generation of those with DMD.

Duchenne UK and founding partner charity, Joining Jack has a long-standing relationship with Saracens. Owen Farrell has supported the charity personally through his relationship with co-founder and family friends, Andy and Alex Johnson and their son Jack, who has DMD.

Duchenne UK has raised over £15m since launching in 2012 and is making huge inroads to finding treatments, but Duchenne UK still needs support to find a cure as they hope to eradicate DMD in ten years.

Emily Crossley, Duchenne UK co-founder, said:

“Alex Johnson and I are incredibly grateful to Saracens for this two year partnership which will help us to raise the vital money and awareness that we need to beat this disease. Everyone at the club has gone out of their way to help us and the boys fighting Duchenne and we are so thankful for their support.”

Gordon Bank, Saracens Chief Community Officer, said:

“The work and desire shown by Duchenne UK to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is hugely inspiring.

“We are a club that cares about our community and we are really excited that by fundraising for the work at Evelina London, we will be able to help families across London and the south-west tackle this disease.”

Brad Barritt, Saracens Men Captain, said:

“We have been fortunate enough to hear from Emily about the amazing work Duchenne UK are doing and how places like Evelina London are helping find a cure for Duchenne.

“Saracens is more than just a rugby club and I know everyone at Sarries will pull together to ensure that the team at Evelina London can continue to help boys with Duchenne.”

To find out more please visit: Saracens.com/duchenneuk / Duchenneuk.org

To make a donation to Duchenne UK, please visit: https://www.duchenneuk.org/donate/saracens/ or text 'TACKLEDMD' to 70085 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a std rate msg. Alternatively, you can opt to give any whole amount up to £20.


To speak to a Saracens or Duchenne UK spokesperson about the partnership, please contact:

Abdullah Mahmood

PR & Communications Manager

[email protected] / 07595517175

Molly Hunt

Head of Communications

[email protected] / 0203 096 7496 / 0781 419 5552

Who are Saracens?

Established in 1876, Saracens Rugby Club are London’s Premier Rugby Club, competing in the Gallagher Premiership, the European Champions Cup, the Tyrrells Premier 15s and the Premiership Cup. Based in north London at Allianz Park, the Club has changed a lot since its first fixture at Primrose Hill in 1876 with stints at Bramley Road and Vicarage Road before moving to its current home in Barnet in 2013. In 1989, Saracens Women formed, quickly becoming a leading force in Women’s rugby and at the start of 2019 the VNSL netball franchise, the Hertfordshire Mavericks, joined the Saracens family. Away from the pitch Saracens is heavily involved in the local community with the award-winning Saracens Sport Foundation working in north London and Hertfordshire and in 2018, Saracens High School opened its doors for the first time.

What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common fatal genetic disease diagnosed in childhood. Children born with DMD cannot produce the protein dystrophin which is vital for muscle strength and function. Muscle weakness starts in early childhood. Many use a wheelchair by around the age of 12. As deterioration continues it leads to paralysis and early death, often in their 20s. It almost exclusively affects boys. There is no treatment or cure. In the UK there are around 2,500 boys affected and around 300, 000 worldwide. It is classified as a rare disease.

Who are Duchenne UK?

Duchenne UK is a lean, ambitious and highly focused charity with a clear vision: to fund and accelerate treatments and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

We are investing millions of pounds in research right now to bring treatments and a cure to help this generation. Duchenne UK is the largest funder of DMD research in the UK. We are also committed to accelerating the pace of research. 90p in every £1 raised is committed to research.

Our president is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Our patrons include the broadcasters Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Mary Nightingale, and the sports stars Owen Farrell, Kris Radlinski and Andy Farrell. 

We need your help, because we need to keep funding promising new research.

How to donate?

Duchenne UK is entirely reliant on donations to fund research for treatments and a cure to DMD. This can be done via:

  • Direct Debit – Duchenne Direct
  • Individual Donation – Donate
  • If you are a family or friend affected by DMD you can set up your own fund with Duchenne UK – Family and Friend Funds
  • Take part in one of our fundraising events – Events
  • Text DUCHENNE to 70085 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus a std rate msg.

For more information visit www.duchenneuk.org

Published on 12 February 2019

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