“Napa in Miami” Wine Tasting and Auction Raised $1.2M+ for DMD Research


CureDuchenne, the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to funding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and a Patient Worthy partner, held its first “Napa in Newport” event in 2015; three years later, CureDuchenne launched the Napa Wine Series to enjoy the best of Napa Valley while raising DMD awareness on a broader level. On March 4, 2023, CureDuchenne, in conjunction with Event Chair Susan Finazzo, held the 2nd annual “Napa in Miami” Wine Tasting and Auction in South Beach. According to a news release following the event, “Napa in Miami” raised more than $1.2M that will help fund research—and hopefully the development of a cure. 

Susan and her husband Chris decided to spearhead “Napa in Miami” after their two sons, Chase and Dylan, were diagnosed with DMD in 2020. Instead of sit back and be sad, the Finazzo family decided to step up, advocate, and do all that they could to advance research. In launching “Napa in Miami,” and finding a community through CureDuchenne, the Finazzo family has found hope and comfort.

Over the last two years, “Napa in Miami” has raised more than $2M for DMD research. In this most recent event, 20 vintners from Napa Valley came together to serve wine and hold various wine experiences, from a Grand Tasting to vintner-hosted dining tables, for the community. 

Learn more about the Napa Wine Series events

A Brief Overview of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD

Dystrophin, a type of protein, plays a role in muscle strength, function, and stability. In people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, DMD gene mutations cause the body to produce low or nonexistent dystrophin, leading to characteristic muscle weakness. DMD is one of the nine forms of muscular dystrophy. It occurs in 1 in every 3,500 males and 1 in every 50 million females. Signs and symptoms of DMD typically manifest before six years old. These may include:

  • Muscle weakness that begins in the legs, pelvis, and thighs before progressing throughout the body
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent tripping and falling 
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Delayed speech and motor development
  • Lumbar lordosis (inward spinal curvature)
  • Difficulty walking or changing positions
  • A “waddling” gait 
  • Enlarged calves
  • Learning disabilities
  • Increased risk of heart disease and respiratory failure

There are no cures for DMD. Treatment options include asthma treatments, amino acids, assisted breathing, occupational and physical therapy, steroids, and heart medication.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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