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Billy Z

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In March of 2021, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD).  A condition that causes weakness and wasting of leg muscles, LGMD can cause difficulty rising out of chairs, climbing stairs, and balance issues. It can also cause frequent falls, which is something that I experience regularly.  I've had to relearn how to live life at 38 with a permanent disability.  With that being said, the change is hard but not impossible.

Basketball was a huge part of my life up until I started experiencing the affects of LGMD.  I no longer could function on the court and that loss frustrated me to no end.  I needed an outlet. I reinvented myself in my kitchen.   I decided to trade in my jersey for an apron and focused my attention and efforts to become a great home cook and baker.   While adjusting to my life living with a permanent disability, I've found my voice through food.  Through partnerships with local restaurants, I'm using my food as a way to advocate and fundraise for the MDA and share my story of reinvention to hopefully inspire others regardless of health that you CAN experience loss but bounce back and be great at other things. 

I have recently been named the Illinois Ambassador for the MDA and will continue to raise awarness and funds through collabations around Chicagoland.

To learn more about where you can try my food collaborations, follow me along on Instagram @therealbillyz

There is no treatment at the moment but with the help of the Muscular Dystrophy Association we have hope. 

Every day, children are born with muscular dystrophy and adults are diagnosed with ALS and other life-threatening diseases that take away their most basic freedoms - like walking, talking, eating, hugging, and ultimately life itself. I'm raising money to help MDA fight back!

MDA is working to give these abilities back through early intervention, local engagement, and the search for better treatments and cures.

The money I raise will help children and adults in our community, and will also help support innovative research to change the future for people with neuromuscular disease. 

Please make a donation if you have the means. Thank you!