On behalf of team CureDuchenne, we are ecstatic to announce that our co-founder and our daily inspiration Debra Miller was presented with the esteemed Women in Business Award to honor her career in finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The Orange County Business Journal’s Women in Business Award is presented to five outstanding professional women who have made significant contributions to their organizations, their professions and to the OC community.
The OCBJ’s panel of judges determined that our own Debra Miller’s ground breaking philosophy of using a venture philanthropy business model to pursue a cure for her son’s disease set a standard for nonprofit success and honored her and CureDuchenne with this prestigious award.
After her son’s deadly diagnosis, Debra used her expertise from a successful publishing career to spearhead what is now an effective staff-run organization focused on saving the lives of the more than 300,000 boys worldwide with Duchenne. There is no treatment or cure for this disease that generally leaves patients use a wheelchair by their mid-teens and claims their lives by their mid-20s.
Using this business model, Debra enabled CureDuchenne to leverage $100 million from biotech and pharmaceutical companies to fund promising Duchenne research.
The organization has blazed new trails, making educated investments in new technology that has advanced seven research projects into human clinical trials through the FDA. As a therapeutic means toward keeping thousands with Duchenne strong while they wait for a cure to surface, CureDuchenne launched a new program called CureDuchenne Cares that provides physical therapy treatment, education and outreach for the Duchenne community.
CureDuchenne’s efforts are making a positive impact on patients and families. Debra herself understands the effect this disease has on families. Since she launched CureDuchenne in 2003, she hasn’t lost sight of being a loving parent to her son, Hawken. Debra and her husband invested their savings in creating the fiscally responsible and strategic business model necessary in shining a healing light for their son and the many worldwide just like him.
As CureDuchenne continues to make saving lives its goal, we appreciate the recognition Debra has received from this award.