Popular wisdom tells us that the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have a problem. This works for individuals, like alcoholics, thanks to William Griffith Wilson, the man known in Alcoholic Anonymous circles as Bill W.
It also works for communities as a whole. Public awareness needs to be raised before people realize that it is time to act. Pink ribbons remind us that breast cancer is still a clear and present danger. Yellow rubber bracelets urge us to be Live Strong in the face of cancer. Raising awareness is the first goal of every fundraising organization. Some do it by getting celebrities to join their side. Others by hosting extravagant or quirky events.
Still others do acts of physical endurance to raise awareness. According to an article in Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper, that’s what Elie Eid did for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
This former truck driver set out to walk 300 kilometers around Port Phillip Bay, the famed location of the city of Melbourne, on Australia’s southeastern coast. Elie and his family walked around the bay as part of a ten-day event to raise awareness about the debilitating disease that afflicts his son Emilio.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is one of the many forms of muscular dystrophy, a condition that prevents muscles from growing properly during development. The disease affects boys much more frequently than girls. The end result is often quadriplegia and respiratory duress. There is no cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but that is part of the reason Elie walked around the bay.
Elie started his own charity in 2008, Save Our Sons. To date, the charity has raised over $2.5 million to raise awareness and for medical research. The end goal is to cure the disease, but in the meantime, Elie’s foundation also advocates for improving quality of life.