Lululemon Founder Commits $100 Million to Find Cure for FSHD

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Chip Wilson, founder of the athletic-inspired apparel company Lululemon, has committed $100 million to find a cure for his rare disease, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy type 2.

Wilson was diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy type 2 (FSHD2) at age 32. The Canadian entrepreneur and venture philanthropist has created a new venture, Solve FSHD, with the objective of finding a cure for FSHD by 2027 by targeting the underlying genetic cause or improving muscle function and growth.

“Solve FSHD will accelerate the underfunded development of drugs and therapies to stop muscle degeneration, increase muscle strength and improve the quality of life for those living with this,” said Wilson in a statement. He stopped playing squash 10 years ago because he could no longer lift a racquet over his head.

At 67, the serial entrepreneur and father of five boys said his upper body is “very wasted.” His legs have lost significant muscle tissue and Wilson can see a time in the not-so-distant future when he will need the assistance of a wheelchair.

“I can still walk, but I must be very intentional and present, or I will trip and fall,” he said. “I do see a day when I will be unable to walk on my own.” said the Canadian entrepreneur and venture philanthropist.

Currently, there is no cure for FSHD, a genetic disorder that has varying symptoms, severity, and progression. According to the Mayo Clinic, muscle weakness usually starts in the face, hips, and shoulders. Onset usually occurs in the teenage years but can begin in childhood.

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