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11-Time Olympic Medalist Ryan Lochte Plunges Into Advocacy

Swimmer Travels to Capitol Hill to Urge Congress to  Continue Support of People with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy  

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --   Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the leading non-profit in the United States focused entirely on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), welcomes 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte to their Annual Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., February 10-12, 2013. Lochte, one of the top American performers at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and a world record holder, is trading in his goggles and swim cap for a briefing binder and suit and tie to support families impacted by Duchenne.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100119/DC39975LOGO)

Lochte, 28, has been a volunteer spokesman for PPMD since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Joining PPMD's fight to end Duchenne is more than just a good cause for him; Lochte's uncle, Ron Sweitzer, had a brother who died from the disease. In turn, Ryan has made ending Duchenne a priority.

To help achieve this goal, Lochte will return to Washington, D.C. with more than 100 advocates on February 11 th to urge Congress to reauthorize The Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education Amendments of 2013 (MD-CARE Act). The MD-CARE Act was first enacted in 2001 and reauthorized for a second time in 2008 when Lochte made his first trip to Capitol Hill to encourage congressional support.

This legislation has transformed life for many with the disease by intensifying muscular dystrophy research efforts and standardizing care; adding 10 years to the lifespan of Duchenne patients and spurring the development of potential therapies.

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