Jake Marrazzo is a seventeen-year-old high school senior who is wildly creative, has a smile that lights up the room and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Jake was diagnosed when he was 8 and has been confined to a wheelchair since he was 12. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most aggressive form of muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to the alterations of a protein called dystrophin that helps keep muscle cells intact. The prevalence of DMD is mostly in boys and affects approximately 6 people per 100,000. There is currently no cure for Duchenne but there are many promising developments.
Jake has never let Duchenne slow him down. He is very active in his high school drama club and has worked as a host for a local restaurant. Jake is now a published author as he has just written a children’s book, One Wants to be a Letter, which has sold over 1,000 copies. Next week, we are very excited that Jake will be interviewed by celebrated author Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Book series).
Inspired by his resilience, Jake’s parents, John and Sheryl Marrazzo founded the 4 Jake’s Sake Charitable Foundation to bring awareness about Duchenne and to help other families manage the tremendous costs of a Duchenne diagnosis. We started working with 4 Jake’s Sake in 2015 as they were our first pro-bono client. We have helped the foundation with marketing strategy, content marketing, event marketing, public relations, social media marketing, search engine optimization and website design. Over the past five years, we have learned a great deal from the organization and benefitted in ways we did not expect. In this season of giving, we wanted to share seven benefits for companies who work with a charity.