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Miami community comes together for CureDuchenne, raising nearly $2.5M since 2021

DJ Irie of the Miami Heat Headlines “Champions in Miami” to Help Find a Cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Miami, FL, March 26, 2024 – CureDuchenne and the Finazzo family of Miami hosted “Champions in Miami” on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at the Kimpton Surfcomber in Miami Beach, bringing together Miami’s top business leaders, entrepreneurs, influencers, and philanthropists for a night of delicious flavors, cocktails, cigars, and live entertainment. All event proceeds benefit CureDuchenne, a global leader in research, patient care, and innovation for improving and extending the lives of those living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and a night of dining and dancing in “Beach Chic” attire with entertainment from Miami’s own DJ Irie of the Miami Heat. Radio personality Shawn Parr hosted a lively live auction featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and getaways to Napa Valley, New York, Las Vegas, and the Hamptons and vintners Diamond Mountain Vineyard and Adversity Cellars poured their finest vintages for guests.

“We are so grateful to the Miami community for coming together to raise funds that bring us closer to a cure for Duchenne,” said CureDuchenne founder and CEO Debra Miller. “Although we’ve made tremendous progress in research, there are still thousands of boys and young men that still don’t have the treatments they need. Every dollar makes a difference and with the help of the Miami community, we hope to change the odds for all families receiving this diagnosis.”

Miami resident Chris Finazzo shared his personal experience as the father of two young boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative neuromuscular disease. It is one of the most common and severe forms of muscular dystrophy and is mainly found in young boys. Most boys diagnosed with Duchenne lose the ability to walk by 12, and many lose their lives in their late 20s. Since 2021, the Miami community has raised nearly $2.5 million to support CureDuchenne and its efforts to find and fund a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

In 2020, Chris and Susan Finazzo discovered that both of their sons, Chase, now age 9, and Dylan, now age 6, were in the earliest stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They were devastated but knew they must put all of their efforts into finding a cure for their sons and all other individuals facing the disease. After being connected with CureDuchenne, they dedicated their lives to helping find a cure for their boys and the nearly 300,000 children and young adults living with the disease around the world. The family has seen a glimmer of hope as both boys had the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial for a gene therapy treatment that aims to delay the progression of the disease, but their work is far from done.

“Since our sons received the diagnosis of Duchenne, Susan and I have dedicated our lives to help find a cure. We are so grateful to the Miami community for their generosity as we work to fund research toward a cure,” said Champions in Miami Chair Chris Finazzo. “CureDuchenne is driving innovative research and transformative treatments are on the horizon. With the help of fundraisers like Champions in Miami, we are that much closer to finding and funding a cure for all those affected by Duchenne, so no other parent has to witness their child lose the ability to walk and ultimately, their life to this disease.”

To learn more or donate to CureDuchenne, visit

About CureDuchenne Over twenty years ago, CureDuchenne was created with one goal: to find and fund a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, one of the most common and severe forms of muscular dystrophy. Today, CureDuchenne is recognized as a global leader in research, patient care and innovation for improving and extending the lives of those with Duchenne. CureDuchenne’s innovative venture philanthropy model has advanced transformative treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, including 18 projects that advanced to human clinical trials and multiple projects to overcome the limitations of exon-skipping and gene therapy. In addition, CureDuchenne contributed early funding to the first FDA-approved Duchenne drug, pioneered the first and only Duchenne physical and occupational therapist certification program and created an innovative biobank and data registry, accelerating research toward a cure. For more information on how to help raise awareness and funds needed for research, please visit

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