Wand Fight Team Gym did a fundraiser during the month of October to assist kids suffering from Duchenne ‘s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), an hereditary disease that causes progressive weakness in the muscles. Several prizes were raffled including, a bicycle, boxing gloves signed by former UFC fighter and Pride legend Wanderlei Silva, a FIFA ball signed by UFC fighters Paulo Borrachinha, Gilbert Durinho, Raphael Assunção and Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. The campaign, idealized by professor Leandro Lorenco and his student Marco Simmons, raised two thousand dollars, delivered last Sunday (3) to Mitchell’s Journey Foundation who assists kids with DMD.

“Mitchell’s Journey Foundation is a nonprofit that assists families with kids suffering from DMD (Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy). The foundation was created by Christopher Jones who lost his son Mitchell to the disease. He passed away from heart failure caused by DMD. Our fighter Marco Simmons has been using MMA as a platform to bring awareness about the disease to the general public. This disorder is more commonly found in males and the boys carrying this rare disease found inspiration in Marco as a fighter, making them feel they are fighters as well. That’s why we decided to do this raffle and donate all the funds to this Foundation”, Lorenco explained.

There’s no cure for those kids with DMD, but physical therapy and medicine like corticosteroids can help controlling symptoms and better their quality of life. Wand Fight Team had the support of several partners and members to come up with the prizes and had a special help from Aloha Animal Hospital who matched the funds raised to come up to a total of $2000 contribution.

“Aloha Animal Hospital is a family owned business and they train with us, they were touched by our initiative. We got $1000 by selling the raffle and they matched the amount raised. We did an open class last Sunday to do the final drawing of the prizes and to deliver in hands the check to Chris, who was very touched and grateful for our campaign “, told us Lorenco.

Christopher Jones lost this son to DMD about three years ago. Mitchell Dee Jones was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy in 2005. In 2015, ten years later, the family learned Mitchell’s cardiac function was compromised. One year after that he passed away from heart failure.

“I wish Mitch could have met Marco and his entire tribe because they’re all remarkable humans, gentle giants who want to use their strength to lift and encourage others. I’ve grown to love and admire Marco for many reasons, but how he uses his incredible strength and skill to inspire other kids whose muscles are failing them is so inspiring. In fact, he created the hashtag #knockoutDMD as a symbol and call sign for the fight he’s joined”, said Chris.

“I wish all of Mitchell’s Journey could see what I saw today — the remarkable people, the unity of heart and purpose. It was so amazing. And, if you live in Las Vegas and want to see the kind of body and character-building Wand Fight Team promotes, please look them up and give them a visit. They’re the real deal. I wish my younger self could have met them; I would have grown a lot. Thank you, Marco and Wand Fight Team, for supporting Mitchell’s Journey and for being a beacon of hope”.