On July 15, 2013, 2 days before Houston’s 6th Birthday, he saw the pediatrician for his 6 year check up. The exam went great, he hopped off the table and the pediatrician said, “Wow, I’ve never noticed his calves being that prominent before.” The doctor had him squat down into a catcher’s position and little did we know he would have such difficulty standing up. “Classic signs of muscular dystrophy” she stated. Further testing and evaluations would confirm a diagnosis that we hoped and prayed we would not hear – Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
DMD is a rapidly progressing form of muscular dystrophy that occurs primarily in boys. As hard as it is to think about, it is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in 3500 boys. Duchenne results in progressive loss of strength and is caused by a mutation in the gene that encodes for dystrophin. Because dystrophin is absent, the muscle cells are easily damaged. The progressive muscle weakness leads to serious medical problems, particularly issues relating to the heart and lungs. Duchenne can be passed from parent to child, but approximately 35% of cases occur because of a random spontaneous mutation. In other words, it can affect anyone. Although there are medical treatments that may help slow its progression, there is currently no cure for Duchenne.
There are several promising clinical trials currently under way, which have the hope to extend the lives of boys with DMD and possibly cure them. Our mission, as all families living with Duchenne, is to bring awareness of DMD as well as raise money for research and clinical trials that will benefit our son and for expenses associated with our battle with DMD. Our prayer is that God will heal our son and all the other boys who have Duchenne, as well as provide wisdom to the researchers so that a cure can be found for DMD.
A few days after Houston was diagnosed with DMD, our Heavenly Father laid the following verse on the heart of Houston’s father:
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
For More information please visit the Hope for Houston website by clicking HERE
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