Jeromiah Drennen is no regular 14-year-old kid. Drennen received the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce “Great Kid Award” for his outstanding academic abilities and personal integrity in 2011.
Jeromiah moved with his family to Provo, Utah, in 2006. He likes science and tested in the top 10 percent nationally in 2008. He is also a young computer genius. He has created computer games, websites and produced music. He even maintains a 4.0 GPA in school. He did all of this while suffering from a disease that could kill him by the age of 25.
Drennen has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, or DMD. In the past few months he has undergone emergency surgery for his severely restricted breathing, he has needed extra nutrition from a feeding tube and is also in need of another surgery very soon to correct the scoliosis of his spine in order to bolster his quality of life.
These medical costs are astronomical, and Drennen’s family does not have health insurance because they run their own printing business from home, where they can better care for Drennen. They also do not qualify for government assistance since they are immigrants from England.
To raise money to help take some of the financial burden that comes with this disease, some UVU students along with people in the community are hosting the “Skate for Drennen” charity event. All the proceeds from the fundraiser will go directly toward Drennen’s medical costs.
“We feel very blessed to have so many people acting to help us out at this difficult time,” said Deborah Drennen, Jeromiah’s mother. “This movement of many people’s charity and unity has given humanity a good name.”
There are three ways that people can help Drennen and his family. The first is by attending this “Skate for Jeromiah” charity event on April 6 at Classic Skating in Orem from 9 p.m. until midnight and there will be roller-skating for charity, food, drinks, a raffle and donation jar.