A few weeks before the ride, Doug Penner broke his leg. It was his third serious leg injury in as many years. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

A few weeks before the ride, Doug Penner broke his leg. It was his third serious leg injury in as many years. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

VIDEO: Langley dad describes the pressures of coping with MD at Ride For Doug

‘Blown away’ by the support the family has been given, Cam Penner said

As motorcyclists lined up in the parking lot of the South Langley Church, Doug Penner was zipping around in a motorized wheelchair, pausing to have his picture taken with various participants in the annual fundraising ride that bears his name.

Doug was wearing a cast, the result of suffering his third broken leg in as many summers, but the 16-year-old Murrayville teen would still be taking part in the 13th annual Ride for Doug, a 200-kilometre motorcycle ride through the Fraser Valley to raise money and awareness for muscular dystrophy.

But, because of the cast, instead of riding on a motorcycle with dad Cam, he would be a passenger on his mom’s (Allison’s) three-wheel Can-Am Spyder.

READ MORE: Ride namesake given all-clear to saddle up Sunday in Langley

Doug has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an inherited disorder that affects one in 5,000 males at birth. It very rarely affects girls.

Muscles become weaker as the patient gets older, and there is no known cure.

On Sunday, June 2, Doug and his parents were joined by 90 riders on 70 motorcycles for a 200-kilometre journey through the Fraser Valley.

It was a bright and warm day, better than the damp conditions that reduced turnout last year to 38 motorcycles and donations to $21,000.

This year, the ride raised $24,000.

Some of the money, $7,000, will be put in a fund to convert a vehicle for Doug to drive, while the rest will go to muscular dystrophy (MD) research.

He’s due to be assessed for his ability to drive, and if he gets a thumbs-up for the doctors, it will cost about $15,000 – on top of the purchase price – to make a vehicle driveable for Doug.

Currently, his family is using a 15-year-old “mostly good” accessible van that was purchased last year after Doug ended up in a wheelchair after suffering his second serious leg injury in as many years.

As of this year, the total amount donated to MD research by the ride for Doug has reached $ 242,000.

Speaking to supporters at the end of the ride, Cam said he was, “as always, blown away” by the support the family receives.

“By the friends – new and old – who come year after year, blown away by the generosity of strangers, [by] people giving up their sunny afternoons to ride with us,” Cam recounted.

Often, he said, the family is asked how they cope with the endless challenges of MD.

“More often than not, we can’t,” he said.

“At the end of each day, no matter how productive and exhausted we are, there are always things left on the to-do list.”

It is not uncommon for the family to go a couple of weeks between finding time to get groceries, he noted.

Last year, the Penners had their yard re-landscaped, and specified it should be “low maintenance” but even with that, Cam observed, he usually doesn’t get time to mow the lawn before his neighbour does it for them.

They moved houses a couple of years ago, and still have a room full of boxes they haven’t opened.

How do they cope?

“The answer is that there isn’t a choice. We have to go on. And we rely on the support of those around us to make it through.”

On Sunday, July 7, the Vancouver Island edition of the Ride for Doug will be held in Victoria.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

Doug Penner, with dad Cam and mom Allison, just before the ride got underway. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Doug Penner, with dad Cam and mom Allison, just before the ride got underway. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Just Posted

Students at ACSS and BGMS will start the school year in September with positive changes at their Aldergrove Campus. (Special to The Star)
Fit Core athletic centre to link Betty Gilbert and Aldergrove Secondary

Langley School District announced new courses such as guitar and digital technology for students

Douglas Denyer walks with his wife Dorothy, who passes away at 90. The long-time resident of Langley and Rotarian since 1984 turned 100 on June 16. He has two sons, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Celebrating ‘a beautiful life,’ Langley senior turns 100

‘I’ve always tried to help out everyone I can” Douglas Denyer says

Vancouver Giants will return to the ice on Oct. 8, hosting the Prince George Cougars at Langley Events Centre. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Giants will renew division rivalry with Cougars when season resumes in October

First game at Langley Events Centre since February of last year

A flower-bedecked memorial to one three people who died at the scene of a suspicious house fire in Langley stands outside the burnt-out house in the 19600 block of Wakefield Drive on Monday, June 29, 2020. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
First hearing for man charged in Langley triple homicide

Kia Ebrahimian faces three counts of second degree murder

Big Splash water park is located in Tsawwassen. (submitted photo)
Big Splash reopens Canada Day with changes to keep the water park ‘safe for everyone’

Executive Hotels & Resorts has owned and operated the attraction since 2017

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read