The Stalling family’s love for the outdoors belies their Westport roots.
Ed Stalling — longtime scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 36 — took his 5 kids hiking, camping and fishing in all seasons. The boys played football at Staples, and raised a bit of hell all over town.
Unsurprisingly, they ended up out West. Dave and Eddie are in Montana; Sue in Idaho. The clan has grown — but they still make it back East when they can. They visit family members who remain, and reconnect with their roots.
Because muscular dystrophy knows no borders, this is an important story for “06880.” And for anyone else with children, or who cares about them.
Dave’s son Cory just turned 10. He was born and raised in Missoula — the hometown of his mother (Dave’s former wife), Chris.
Eddie and his wife Laurie passed their passion for skiing and snowboarding on to Cory. But one season they noticed he couldn’t do what he could the year before. He also tired easily.
He was diagnosed with Duchenne MD — a severe form of of the disease, characterized by rapid progression of muscle degeneration. Eventually, even involuntary muscles are affected.
Eddie calls his nephew “remarkable. He’s in great spirits. Every adult he meets is amazed by how much he knows about science and animals.”
Eddie has realized that “we take for granted the dreams we all have for the kids in our lives.”
At first he thought he was powerless. But researchers have finally isolated what makes MD sufferers’ muscles not grow. They believe they can cure the disease, and halt its progression in those who have it.
Of course, that research takes money.
So the Stallings are doing what they can to raise funds. And they’re doing it outdoors — the Montana way.
A band of family members — and friends — calling themselves “Cory’s Champions” will run the Missoula Half-Marathon on July 11 for Cory, and other youngsters with Duchenne MD.
The effort is called Run For Our Sons. It’s part of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, an organization begun by a mother whose 2 sons had Duchenne MD.
Cory’s mother, Chris — a social science analyst in the research branch of the United States Forest Service, a single mom and Boston Marathoner — has picked up the Parent Project torch. She now carries it to teach people about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and raise money to fight the disease.
Eddie says: “I cherish every moment I am with Cory while he can still walk.
“He teaches me something about life every time I’m with him. Laurie and I can’t think of a better cause to support. That’s why I’m reaching out for the first time, awkward as it is.
“If you can spare a dime, cool. If not, also cool. If nothing else, I hope to raise awareness about how real MD still is.”
“Westport is incredibly unique,” Eddie says. “If you grew up there in the ’70s, a strong bond to our hometown is in your blood. Our dad is memorialized in a plaque at Compo. When he was grand marshal of the Memorial Day parade he brought the audience to tears talking about the sights, sounds and smells of Iwo Jima.
“I know when Cory’s Champions do our thing on July 11, Westport will be with us in thought and spirit.”
(Click here to support Cory’s Champions; then click the “Support Laurie” tab.)