Every year, about this time, Doug Penner starts getting ready for the annual motorcycle ride and barbecue to raise money for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the progressive condition the Langley boy was diagnosed with at the age of three.
“It’s time to eat meat and pose for pictures,” he will tell his dad, Cam Penner.
On Sunday, as he and his dad prepared to depart on the ninth annual “Ride for Doug,” he was a good sport about the countless cameras and cell phones recording him walking next to rows of bikes waiting in the parking lot of the South Langley Church at 20098 22nd Ave.
In all, 77 motorcyclists took part in the ride through the Fraser Valley, raising more than $37,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
That would bring the total amount raised since the ride started to nearly $170,000.
A delighted Cam Penner posted an enthusiastic thanks on Facebook “to everyone who came out and rode with us, kept us hydrated, fed us, cheered us on, or did any of the other million things it takes to hold a ride.”
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a genetic disorder that causes muscles in the body to gradually decline and weaken.
Over time, people with MD may lose the ability to walk, speak and ultimately breathe.
There is presently no known cure.
In an interview with The Times before the ride, Cam said his son, a Grade 7 Langley Christian student, is doing well and ‘enjoying life.’
“He is getting weaker, but he is still walking, able to go up and down stairs, and ride with me on my motorcycle,” Penner said.
“He is in the transition years of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. These are the years where most of his peers are using wheelchairs.”
Muscular Dystrophy Canada uses some of the money raised to provide support and equipment assistance to families living with MD.
Other funds are used for research.
— with files from Monique Tamminga