Darius Weems is one of five winners of the 2009 Do Something Award. Weems made a stop in Savannah last week sharing his inspiring story and raising awareness and money to fight a fatal muscular disease.
By KIM GUSBY
19-year old Darius Weems travels the country sharing his inspiring story and raising awareness and money to fight a fatal muscular disease. Last week, the Chatham County Youth Commission brought Darius and his crew to the Savannah Civic Center for a special viewing of the documentary “Darius Goes West”. The film, shot by eleven of his friends in 2005, chronicles a three week trek from Athens to Los Angels in a quest to have Weems’ wheelchair customized on the MTV series, “Pimp My Ride”.
Now, a huge boost to his fight. Weems has been selected as one of five winners of the 2009 Do Something Award (www.dosomething.org/programs/award). Since 1996, Do Something has honored the nation’s best young world-changers. Winners receive a minimum of $10,000 in community grants and scholarships. On June 4th, one of the five winners will be selected as the grand prize winner and will receive $100,000 in community grants. The Do Something Award community grant money is paid directly to the not-for-profit of the winner’s choice.
Darius’ cause is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the number one genetic killer of children. It took his older brother Mario’s life at the age of 19. Currently, there is no cure.
Darius has raised $1.6 million for DMD research, and traveled more than 100,000 miles to educate schools and communities about his cause. The students he reached in 2009 were in turn inspired to mail a copy of the DVD, along with a handwritten note to every middle school and high school in the country. More than 40,000 letters were written, and so far, 1,000-plus schools have adopted the educational program. While DMD will eventually claim Darius’ life, he refuses to give up on his crusade to find a cure.
WSAV is committed to raising awareness and finding a cure for Muscular Dystrophy through our participation in the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.