Pat Furlong is the Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest non profit organization in the United States solely focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne).
Its mission is to improve the treatment, quality of life, and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne through research, advocacy, education, and compassion. Duchenne is the most common fatal, genetic childhood disorder, which affects approximately 1 out of every 3,500 boys each year worldwide.
It currently has no cure. When doctors diagnosed her two sons, Christopher and Patrick, with Duchenne in 1984, Pat didn’t accept “there’s no hope and little help” as an answer. Pat immersed herself in Duchenne, working to understand the pathology of the disorder, the extent of research investment, and the mechanisms for optimal care. Her sons lost their battle with Duchenne in their teenage years, but she continues to fight—in their honor and for all families affected by Duchenne. In 1994, Pat, together with other parents of young men with Duchenne, founded PPMD to change the course of Duchenne and, ultimately, to find a cure. Today, Pat continues to lead the organization and is considered one of the foremost authorities on Duchenne in the world.