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By January 9, 2008October 30th, 2016News

January 9, 2008 Dr. Benjy Seckler
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Tracy Kramer Seckler, founder of Charley’s Fund, recognized for her outstanding
contribution in seeking a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
South Egremont, MA, January 9, 2008 – Tracy Kramer Seckler, a South Egremont mother of
three and founder of Charley’s Fund (, has been chosen as a national finalist
for a Smart Cookie Award. Cookie magazine—Condé Nast’s lifestyle magazine for moms—created
the Smart Cookie Awards in 2006 to recognize, celebrate, and support mothers who are making a
significant difference for women and children while balancing the everyday demands of modern
motherhood. In addition to high-profile honorees from the fields of health, politics, science and social
work, the award recognizes an “everyday extraordinary mom,” who is elected by the visitors of
Cookie’s website, as the people’s choice. Voting begins January 9 and closes February 8
people can submit their vote by visiting

As a Harvard and Columbia University educated grade-school teacher who married her college
sweetheart, Tracy Kramer Seckler had a fun-filled and blessed life. But everything changed in the
summer of 2004 when her second son, Charley, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
(DMD), the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children around the world for which there is
no current cure. Instead of diving into despair, Tracy rolled up her sleeves and four months later
founded Charley’s Fund, an organization dedicated to directing money into the hands of researchers
who have the best shot at developing a treatment or cure for DMD. Having already raised more than
$5.5 million in a little over three years, Charley’s Fund is in a race against time to save Charley’s life
and the lives of thousands of boys like him. Tracy’s activist spirit, fundraising acumen, and life force
are nothing short of inspiring. While working to build Charley’s Fund in the early days, Tracy had her
third child. Her entrepreneurship, passion, and sharp sense of humor cultivate and enrich her children
while also fueling her new success as a fundraiser and change-maker. Tracy makes sure that Charley,
as much as he is physically able, leads a full life of skiing, swimming, and doing everyday kid stuff
with his older brother, Sammy, and younger sister, Maisy. In addition, through her appearance in the
documentary film Darius Goes West, about a teenager with DMD, Tracy deeply touches parents of all
children, no matter what their health status. In the award-winning film she candidly shares her
experience facing life with a terminally ill son, inspiring mothers and fathers to make the most of
every minute with their children. Parents all over the world, from Australia to Canada, have e-mailed
Charley’s Fund and Darius Goes West to share how the film has motivated their children to do
something good for their communities. Tracy’s positive determination can be best summarized by
what she wrote in a recent blog entry, “Although we are working to bring about a miracle, it is really
and truly doable.”

If chosen, Tracy will receive $35,000 from Citi for Charley’s Fund, attend a gala celebration in
New York City on April 21 hosted by 20/20 Correspondent Deborah Roberts, and be featured in a
portfolio in the May issue of Cookie. “The possibility of Charley’s Fund receiving much-needed funds
and national publicity could well be the tipping point for helping us find a treatment for DMD in
enough time to save Charley’s life and thousands of boys just like him,” Tracy concludes.

Last year’s reader’s choice winner, Heidi Breeze-Harris, co-founded One By One, a nonprofit
organization committed to ending obstetric fistula worldwide. She was featured in the May 2007 issue
along with other high-profile winners, including Sharon Stone, Mariska Hargitay, and Cynthia Nixon.

About Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD):

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children around the world. Children with DMD cannot produce dystrophin, a protein necessary for muscle strength and function. As a result, every skeletal muscle in the body deteriorates. Although Duchenne is the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children, there is no cure.

About Cookie Magazine

Cookie is a family lifestyle magazine published by Condé Nast Publications and the winner of Ad Age’s 2007 Launch of the Year. Tailored to the sensibilities of parents with young children, it covers fashion, travel, food, health, home, and beauty in a modern way, giving moms permission to retain their “pre-motherhood” sense of style and adventure. For more information, please visit

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