2015 RecipientHis body’s genetic code is missing a few pieces that tell his body how to make dystrophin, an essential protein. The lack of dystrophin causes progressive loss of muscle strength. At age 5 when he was diagnosed he could walk, now he is in a wheelchair full-time. In the past few years it has gotten harder for him to raise his arms or stretch his arm out to shake hands with someone. These are just some of the daily difficulties Donovan faces. He however, rarely lets it get him down. The thing Donovan has discovered is you have two choices in this world: be mad you have this disease or fight back and enjoy everything life has in store for you. He has chosen to fight back.

The journey Donovan is on has been a tough one, but one he faces with myself, his 12 year old brother Levi, and his service dog Buffy at his side. He loves video games, hanging with friends, coming up with one liners, camping, cooking, the MN Wild, and anything to do with Germany. Ever since I can remember Donovan has had this smile that reaches his eyes and I always felt he has a heart of gold. At a recent banquet with his robotics team, the senior team members gave him an award for the biggest heart. He dreams of going to college to get a degree in aerospace engineering and is currently working on Eagle Project. He is always wanting the next new “gadget” and sets his dreams high and tries not to let his disease get in his way. Everyone has a bad day now and again and I remember once when his father was still alive when he said to us, “I wish I could run like a normal kid just one day. Just to see what it’s like.” As you can imagine that broke our hearts to hear him have to face one of the many obstacles that comes with DMD.

Having this amazing chance to go on a dream hunt will be a treasure that he can carry with him on those days he wants to run and has just found another way to run after his dreams. Donovan dreams big because he never knows where him dreams may take him!

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