Although he was only 11 years old, local kid Mitchell Jones, who passed away from a rare case of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, has served as an inspiration for many across the country.
DMD is a disease that attacks muscles. Normally the heart is last to be attacked. However, in Mitchell’s case, it was the first. DMD patients typically don't receive heart transplants, which could have added about 10 years to Mitchell’s life. Even though Mitchell was in the hospital since the time he was diagnosed at age 3, he often didn't look or act sick. Up until the day he died, he seemed like any other little boy. However, when he was born, his father Chris had a strong feeling something was wrong.
The family decided to start a Facebook page last summer to honor Mitchell’s journey. It was started for family and friends, but before they knew it, there were 30,000 followers. After Mitchell’s passing, it jumped to 95,000. Since the page started, people around the nation have been searching for ways to get involved. Herriman, Utah declared “Mitchell Jones Day” on April 29 (Mitchell's birthday), and there have been 5K runs and fundraisers held to support the family.
The family has been fully committed to spreading the word about Mitchell’s journey. Their main goal is for people to associate Mitchell with DMD so there is an inspirational face for people to look up to. Mitchell’s father Chris has dedicated his time to the journey. He reads and responds to every message and comment on the Facebook page and he has started to write a book.
Mitchell’s family and friends have been working with the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy to help spread awareness about the disease, which they say is the most important thing to them.
Click here to visit the Facebook page, honoring Mitchell.