AWARD-winning journalist Martin Bashir has become patron for Action Duchenne, the charity dedicated solely to raising awareness and funds for research into a cure and providing support for families living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Martin’s own brother Tommy died from Duchenne at the age of 29.

Martin said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been invited to become a Patron of Action Duchenne. I know something of the devastating effects of this disease having cared for my brother, Tommy.

“It ultimately took his life but his courage made our family realise that we, too, needed to do what we can to encourage research, raise funds and support families who confront this condition with such bravery and resolve.

“I hope that as Patron I will be able to partner with individuals and families who must live with the condition.”

Martin, who also supports the work of Charley’s Fund, a US charitable organisation that is seeking to find a cure for the disease, is currently hosting his own daily news broadcast in New York, having joined NBC in 2010 after spending six years at ABC.

He is best known for conducting a series of exclusive interviews and making ground-breaking landmark documentaries. He has won numerous awards for his work including three BAFTA nominations, five Royal Television Society Awards and collected a BAFTA award for his interview with the late Princess Diana.

Nick Catlin, founder and head of research at Action Duchenne, said: “Martin becoming a Patron gives us a fantastic boost and shows how people in the public eye can help families that are affected by this devastating, life-limiting condition.

“We are very grateful to all our supporters and will continue to focus on our goal of finding a cure and effective treatment for those living with Duchenne and their families.”

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy affects one in 3,500 male births in the UK, and is the most common and severe type of muscular dystrophy.

Children are diagnosed with the disease, usually, by the age of five and rarely live past their twenties.

Since being established in 2001, the charity has successfully campaigned to increase awareness of the disease to improve standards of care and raised several millions of pounds to fund medical research and partnerships.

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