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A Social Mission At HBS: Why We Ought To Pay Attention To Terry’s Foundation

How the mission of one EC student sets an example for us all Why did you come to HBS? To switch careers, build your resume, or simply to push yourself outside of your comfort zone? For Rich Horgan (HBS ‘18) the answer is more complex:  to further his goal of advancing research to commercialize treatments for patients with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD), a degenerative muscle wasting disease whose variation primarily impacts boys and men. Rich’s younger brother, Terry, happens to be one of them. For that reason, Rich spent his past RC/EC summer setting up Terry’s Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity founded with the sole purpose to end muscular dystrophy. The foundation realizes this mission by raising awareness for the disease and by supporting the ground-breaking research efforts to find a cure for this disease, and ultimately bring it to market. To better understand Terry’s Foundation, I sat down with Rich to talk about his motivations, the goals of the foundation, and what it’s like to be a Social Enterprise founder at Harvard Business School. 1) What inspired you to create Terry's Foundation? Coming to HBS, I wanted to use the opportunity to push research forward to commercialize treatments for patients with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD)– a degenerative muscle wasting disease whose variation impacts primarily boys and men. With my younger brother, Terry, living with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, I felt that I needed to do something to force treatments for the rare disease to reach patients faster because time is the biggest enemy with this disease. Growing up with my brother having the disease, you feel so powerless and helpless. Eventually, you just get so tired of feeling like you can’t do anything and you take that hopelessness and anger and direct is somewhere useful to make a difference. This is that. So I created Terry’s Foundation for Muscular Dystrophy in hopes of jump-starting promising academic research. Typically, academic research progresses slowly due to a lack of funds but with a small amount of capital, (<$100,000), a huge amount of progress can be made in identifying approaches and push the research to a point that a company would license it and raise funding.   2) What are the specific goals of the foundation, and how has your progress been to date?

The foundation is hosting a gala on December 4th from 6PM-10PM at the Knafel Center to help raise $50,000 for the Kunkel Lab. It’d be a great help to encourage people to attend the gala and encourage local businesses to support it as well through donations. It’s amazing what a group of dedicated people can accomplish and this is truly an opportunity to directly affect the outcome of a disease here and now. Together, we can say ‘no we’re going to stop this disease, we’re done losing brothers, sons and children to it and we’re going to going to find a treatment in years not decades’ and we can stop this disease from forever impacting families across from US and the globe. Nowadays, it’s rare to have an opportunity to truly be a part of something that can make a tangible difference within our lives. Although this gala is just the beginning, it’s a stake in the ground to begin this journey to end DMD. If you’re interested in learning more about Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, feel free to visit the foundation’s website at https://www.terrysfoundationformd.org/. If you’re interested in attending our gala, please visit our Event Brite page at https://terryswintergala.eventbrite.com. Beyond the gala, I’d encourage people to reach out and talk about this disease. It’s one that impacts tens of thousands of people in the US and abroad. I’m confident that within my lifetime, society can beat this. I think that a lot of resources are not aligned in their work and this causes a lot of time to be wasted. We have to work together in this fight, not only in word but in action, to end DMD. I’m happy to speak more with people about Duchenne, the research or other questions they may have.

The foundation is hosting a gala on December 4th from 6PM-10PM at the Knafel Center to help raise $50,000 for the Kunkel Lab. It’d be a great help to encourage people to attend the gala and encourage local businesses to support it as well through donations. It’s amazing what a group of dedicated people can accomplish and this is truly an opportunity to directly affect the outcome of a disease here and now. Together, we can say ‘no we’re going to stop this disease, we’re done losing brothers, sons and children to it and we’re going to going to find a treatment in years not decades’ and we can stop this disease from forever impacting families across from US and the globe. Nowadays, it’s rare to have an opportunity to truly be a part of something that can make a tangible difference within our lives. Although this gala is just the beginning, it’s a stake in the ground to begin this journey to end DMD. If you’re interested in learning more about Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, feel free to visit the foundation’s website at https://www.terrysfoundationformd.org/. If you’re interested in attending our gala, please visit our Event Brite page at https://terryswintergala.eventbrite.com. Beyond the gala, I’d encourage people to reach out and talk about this disease. It’s one that impacts tens of thousands of people in the US and abroad. I’m confident that within my lifetime, society can beat this. I think that a lot of resources are not aligned in their work and this causes a lot of time to be wasted. We have to work together in this fight, not only in word but in action, to end DMD. I’m happy to speak more with people about Duchenne, the research or other questions they may have.

 
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