Shining a light on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

September 7th 2016, is the annual World Duchenne Awareness Day, and the University of Melbourne will light up the Cultural Rubble on Swanston Street in red to raise awareness of the condition.

Muscular Dystrophy is one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy and affects 1 in 5,000 males.

This genetic condition is characterised by progressive muscle weakness and wasting. The degeneration of muscles can impact respiratory and cardiac function, and individuals living with this condition face a life expectancy of mid to late twenties.

Each year World Duchenne Awareness Day (WDAD) has a theme and this year it is ‘Early Diagnosis.’  Worldwide, patient views about the importance of early diagnosis are being shared so that the earliest possible interventions can be accessed to increase both quantity and quality of life for newly affected families. 

University of Melbourne PhD student, Savant Thakur has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and is researching his own condition in the Department of Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences. He has a single minded determination to improve the lives of people with muscular dystrophy, and has received several awards in recognition of his studies and research. 

During last year’s WDAD, Savant and his supervisor and Head of the Department of Physiology, Professor Gordon Lynch, were interviewed on ABC Far North

Red is the internationally recognized colour of WDAD, and this year around 38 iconic buildings and landmarks around Australia will be lit up in red, ‘shining their light on early diagnosis,’ and raising awareness of muscular dystrophy. 

University of Melbourne's 'Cultural Rubble,' on Swanston Street, lit up in red on 7 September 2016 World Duchenne  Awareness Day.      

DWAD ‘Shine A Light’ Locations

*National Carillon, Canberra
*Telstra Tower, Canberra
*Olympic Park, Melbourne
*Crown Resorts, Melbourne
*Adelaide Oval
*Perth Council House, Perth
*SkyCity Casino, Darwin
*The Reef Hotel Casino, Cairns
*Ipswich City Council (Civic Centre, Studio 188), Ipswich
*Sydney Town Hall, Sydney
*Luna Park, Sydney
*Hobart Railway Roundabout, Hobart
*Melbourne Star, Melbourne
*Townsville City Council (Strand Fountain), Townsville
*Mackay Regional Council (Fountain), Mackay
*Gladstone Regional Council (Chambers), Gladstone
*Big Banana, Coff’s Harbour
*Rockhampton City Council (Bencke Fountain), Rockhampton
*SkyPoint Gold Coast (77th Floor), Gold Coast
*University of Melbourne, Melbourne
*Toowoomba City Council (Town Hall), Toowoomba
*Fraser Coast City Council (Red dress day), Hervey Bay
*Newcastle City Council (Clock Tower), Newcastle
*Wollongong City Council  (Mall), Woolongong
*Wagga Wagga City Council (Museum, Chambers, Civic Theatre, Art Gallery), Wagga Wagga
*Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre (both buildings), Canberra
*Tweed Heads Council (Red dress day), Tweed Heads
*Brisbane City Hall & Square, Brisbane
*Ballarat City Council (Town hall clock), Ballarat
*Bathurst Regional Council’s Memorial Carillon, park, Bathrust
*The Star, Sydney
*Wrest Point Hotel Casino, Hobart
*Orange City Council (Fountain), Orange
*The City of Burnie (City Offices), Burnie
*The Lampist – Custom Lamp Shades, Bentleigh
*Hawkesbury Therapy Centre, Hawkesbury
*University of Tasmania, Hobart