Naughton boys meet Varadkar as conference

Health Minister Leo Varadkar met Roscommon town brothers Archie, George and Isaac Naughton in Dublin before this week’s Join Our Boys Trust held an international conference on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

  A pre-conference dinner was held in the Capital before the event got underway in Croke Park on Wednesday.

  Minister Varadkar was informed first-hand by renowned clinicians and researchers on what is required to combat the illness. As there is currently no cure or treatment, sufferers rarely live beyond their 20s.

  Eight-year-old Archie and his twin brothers, George and Isaac (four), all have DMD. It is a muscle-wasting disease, which almost exclusively affects boys.

  Wednesday’s conference, named ‘Paving the Path to Treatment and Cure – Finding Solutions in Ireland’, attracted many notable speakers.

  The first talk of the day by Paula Kerr, the three Naughton boys’ mother. Prof. George Dickson, of Royal Holloway University in London, spoke on his ground-breaking research into gene therapy.

  Other speakers included Prof. Kay Davies (University of Oxford); Dr Paddy Murphy (St Thomas’ Hospital, London); Prof. Kate Bushby (Newcastle University); and Dr Denise McDonald (Children’s University Hospital, Tallaght).