Local boy battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy honored with courage award

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NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio -- Owen Dumm's day started out like any other. He had just finished mass at Saint Albert the Great and was getting ready to go back to class, when he was surprised by his pediatrician. She told him he'd be receiving Cleveland Clinic's Courage Award.

Owen, 12, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and has been battling the genetic disorder since he was a toddler. He has spent countless hours in the hospital, and now travels to Columbus every weekend to take an experimental medication called Eteplirsen. His mom said the drug seems to be working.

"So he today is starting to create dystrophin in his body which he wasn't doing prior to April 2015. This drug is working in Owen and it's working in roughly 72 boys across the nation," said Jen Dumm.

Even though it's been effective, it's not FDA approved, something his parents are trying to change. "It really is an amazing drug and we just are very hopeful that our government will step up to the plate and see that it's working for us," she said.

Owen was a little shy for the cameras, but Jen said they are beyond thankful for everyone's support.

"When you're faced with an illness, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, having this amazing support group is critical and I just encourage anyone that's struggling with anything to reach out. Reach out to your family, reach out to friends, reach out to your community, because they will lift you up, because when you're struggling, you need to be lifted," she said.

To learn more about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about the experimental medication Eteplirsen, CLICK HERE.