Classmates hopping behind him

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May 17, 2016 9:54 AM

Preston Coolidge, Grade 4 student at J.H. Moore Elementary School, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at age six. His schoolmates joined togeher in support on the second annual Hop for Muscular Dystrophy.

Lashburn’s J.H. Moore Elementary School held its second annual Hop for Muscular Dystrophy, with this year raising $3,237.

Students collected pledges to donate to Muscular Dystrophy Canada, then on Friday they spent 20 minutes hopping on the street in front of the school while wearing paper bunny ears because people afflicted with the disorder have difficulty with certain movements and hopping is among the hardest.

J.H. Moore also holds the event close to its heart because one of its own, Grade 4 student Preston Coolidge, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was six-years-old.

“He’s really fortunate right now to be at 10 years old where he’s still walking, that’s fairly rare,” said Geraldine Coolidge, Preston’s mother.
Coolidge is also the Saskatchewan community development and fundraising coordinator for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“The fact that he can hop and that he can hop on one foot is absolutely, outstandingly unbelievable, so he is progressing very, very well.”

She said there are 160 different types of muscular dystrophy, with Duchenne being the most common as it affects 1 in 3,500 boys and 1 in 50,000 girls.

The Hop event at the school also means a lot to the Coolidge clan because it shows that the whole school is behind Preston, which she said she finds heart warming.

“He wants to be just like everyone else and this shows that his peers are behind him; it’s not just about the disease, it’s not just about the doctor’s appointments, it’s not about anything like that,” she said.

“It shows that everybody is here in support for him, so it’s extremely emotional for a mother and great to see for my son.”

This year, students raised $1,000 more than the inaugural event, and all the funds raised go toward equipment and research for Saskatchewan clients of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Some of the equipment includes hospital beds, wheel chairs and anything else clients might need to assist them.

The Lashburn Fire Department was also involved in the event because muscular dystrophy is the main charitable cause it supports.

Firefighters blocked off the street with their yellow fire engines, hopped with the kids, and also kicked in $1,000 toward donations.

“We make a formal presentation then we just mill in amongst the kids and those who can bounce, bounce, those of us with sore backs do other things,” said Pam Russel, communications person for the Fire Department.

“I think it really brings some awareness to the community as a whole and the children, and I must say, from what I’ve seen, the children are really supportive of Preston.”

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