I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy about six years ago. I felt like my hands weren't working very well, and I thought it was arthritis. I went to see a hand doctor, and he did a simple resistance test and said I needed to see a neurologist.
I sat in the parking lot and toted up my other little ailments -- occasional trouble talking, problematic swallowing, my slow, irregular walking pace -- and I thought: What if they're all connected?
A neurologist said they were. I had muscular dystrophy -- the version called myotonic dystrophy. This afflicts extremities -- hands, ankles, throats, even chewing.
My affliction is on the mild side -- I can walk, bike, lift weights, talk, eat. I may need a walker some day, but God willing, not a wheelchair.
Unlike me, children born with symptoms have radically reduced life expectancies, and won't enjoy the freedom of movement I have experienced.
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 on my cross-country bike ride, to begin in May, will help children and adults in our community, and will also help support innovative research to change the future for people with neuromuscular disease.