Last week, “06880” reported on the latest viral video: 6-year-old Ethan, a young Westporter with autism whose rendition of “Piano Man” has taken the internet by storm.
But can you make a video go viral — even for a cause as important as saving lives?
Dave Stalling — a Westport native, and father of an 11-year old boy — recently asked himself that question. So he created an emotional, heartfelt YouTube plea about his son. Cory has a fatal disease: Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
“Funny and often silly videos go viral and get the attention of the world,” says Dave. “It may seem naive, or perhaps just a desperate attempt by a desperate father who loves his son. But I hope this more serious video will go viral enough to get the attention of influential, caring people who can make a huge difference and help save the lives of my son, and thousands of boys like him.”
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease for which there is currently no cure. But researchers are very close to finding effective treatments. Clinical trials are underway, with promising results. However, more money and support is needed.
“My hope is to raise awareness about Duchenne, strengthen support for finding a cure, and help us turn hope into reality,” Dave says. “I’m simply asking people to take 5 minutes of their lives to help boys like my son have full lives.”
Dave, who grew up in Westport and graduated from Staples in 1979 — where his mother still lives — often brings his son here to visit from his home in Montana. Photos in the video show Cory playing at Compo Beach and Sherwood Island, and boating and swimming in Long Island Sound.
Click on the video below — and then share it far and wide. For donation details, click here.