To the family of Jerry Lewis,
JAR of Hope, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, extends its deepest condolences to your family for the loss of the beloved Jerry Lewis. The world will no doubt remember Jerry as one of the greatest entertainers of all time. While his talent as an actor, comedian, director, writer, and showman are irreproachable, his contributions as a humanitarian to the muscular dystrophy community and mankind as a whole leave behind an indelible mark that will never be forgotten.
Since 1966, Jerry hosted the Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon—raising billions of dollars in donations over the course of 45 years of involvement—while garnering much needed attention to neuromuscular disease and the millions of children and adults it affects annually. Jerry’s unrelenting commitment to ‘his kids’ played an integral role in the development of treatments and services necessary for the long-term survival of muscular dystrophy patients worldwide. Although we grieve with you for his passing, we stand proud of the fact that he lived to see so much progress manifest from his efforts, including the recent FDA approval of the first ever drug used to treat Duchenne.
JAR of Hope’s President, Jim Raffone, will strive to carry on Jerry’s torch. Mr. Raffone founded JAR of Hope in 2013, after his son, Jamesy, was diagnosed with Duchenne. Since then, Raffone has set out on a mission to fund research and generate awareness in the hopes of one day curing Duchenne and preserving the lives of thousands of young people affected by this terminal illness, including his son.
However, without Jerry paving the way for muscular dystrophy ambassadors by creating a public platform to recognize MD, an organization like JAR of Hope might not exist today.
We acknowledge the invaluable contributions Jerry made in the battle against MD, and in his honor, we vow to fight… fight… fight… until ‘our kids’ have lived to see the day when muscular dystrophy is no more.
The word “hero” is often used as a cliché, but it couldn’t be more accurate in describing Jerry Lewis. The man was truly an American hero, and his work will live on through the brave men and women steadfast in the vested goal of helping human beings and protecting the precious smiles and lives of our children.
God bless you, Jerry. Rest in Peace and thank you for all you did. Your memory will never die.
JAR of Hope