Hope for Gus began with a family’s hope to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Gus is a smart, curious 18-year old. He is in the 12th grade and is involved in Yearbook Club, Diversity Club, and Spanish Club. He loves to fish, make music and draw. He enjoys cooking and experimenting with the weirdest food possible. He has many travel plans for the future to fish in new places and taste unique food around the world.

He is starting to think about college and is interested in digital music and/or art or studying to potentially work for the Department of Natural Resources or Fish and Game.

But Gus has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative muscle-wasting disease and the number one genetic killer of children in the world.

When Gus was born on May 10, 2005, Tonya and Steve Dreher knew their family was complete. They had been blessed with three beautiful children. Even though Gus was five weeks premature, they knew he would eventually catch up.

He was a smart and snuggly baby, late on all of his milestones, but seeming to thrive anyway. When he entered preschool, he started physical therapy to help him “catch up.” Yet he still struggled.

When Gus was four and a half, Tonya made an appointment for him to see a neurologist. To this day, she is not exactly sure why she felt compelled to make this appointment – none of the teachers or physical therapists who worked with Gus suspected anything out of the ordinary – but her gut feeling told her to seek more information.

That appointment spiraled into weeks of testing, fearing the worst, and dreading the unknown. Three weeks later, Tonya and Steve received the devastating news that Gus had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

After the unbelievable heartbreak and shock, they got to work researching. What they discovered was that there were numerous potential treatments – and maybe cures – out there, but they weren’t being funded.

DMD is often referred to as an Orphan Disease: a disease that has not been adopted by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent it.

This prompted Steve and Tonya to immediately begin the process of starting their own foundation to raise money and fund research. Hope for Gus was created with the continued hope to save Gus – and all children with DMD.

“They told us that Gus would be in a wheel chair by 12, that his life span would be significantly decreased by DMD… We think they’re wrong, and a lot of brilliant researchers agree with us. Research is more promising today than ever before. Doctors understand DMD like they never have. Gus is in a race against DMD and we are determined to do everything we can to help the researchers who will allow him to win that race.”

Tonya and Steve Dreher

Our Mission

The mission of Hope for Gus is to improve outcomes for those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal genetic disorder with no cure.

Hope for Gus raises and distributes funds for medical and scientific research, disease awareness, medical care, and improvement of quality of life for Duchenne patients and families. Hope for Gus is also focused on developing programs to help alleviate the vast unmet needs in the DMD community.

We are commited to fully allocating the majority of funds raised, in order to achieve this mission.

board members

Louise Danforth


Amanda Becker


Tim Pederson


Sofia Franzen


Ted Irgens


Maggie Stoudnour


Our Supporters and Sponsors

Support the Cause

The Hope For Gus Foundation appreciates your involvement. Your donation goes directly towards funding cutting-edge research, clinical trials, and family support.