Two events set to bolster awareness about and raise funds for muscular dystrophy research are coming up.
This year’s ‘Walk for Muscular Dystrophy’ is set for June 3rd at McKenzie Trails in Red Deer. Registration starts at noon with the walk beginning at 1 p.m.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is the name of a group of genetic muscle disorders that are characterized by progressive weakness and wasting of the voluntary muscles that control body movement. Together, these conditions are referred to as ‘neuromuscular disorders.’
Also according to Muscular Dystrophy Canada, anyone can be affected. And while some types of MD are first evident in infancy or early childhood, other types may not appear until later in life.
Principal symptoms include progressive muscle wasting, weakness, and loss of function.
“The severity and progression will vary depending on the exact diagnosis and the individual. Most neuromuscular disorders are progressive, causing the muscles to gradually weaken over time. People diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder may lose the ability to do things that are often taken for granted, like brushing your own teeth, feeding yourself or climbing stairs. Some people will lose the ability to walk or even breathe on their own.”
Another local event, Muscles in Motion, is set for May 27th throughout the scenic paths of Jarvis Bay Provincial Park near Sylvan Lake.
Muscles in Motion includes a 1km, 4km or 8km trail run/walk and a Fire Fighter Fitness Challenge.
The day also includes live music, raffle prizes, 50/50, kids’ activities and more.
Kim Reinhart is excited to be able to host such an important event, plus she is this year’s ambassador for the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy in Red Deer as well.
She also has a personal connection to the cause. In 2004, her nephew Garrett, just six at the time, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a rapidly-worsening form of muscular dystrophy. In 2015, at the age of 17, he passed away.
“By the time he was 10, he was already partially using a wheelchair,” she recalled, adding that by the time Garrett was 12 or 13, he was using a wheelchair full-time.
“He really changed a lot of people’s lives,” she explained, pointing out how Garrett had such a supportive group of friends as well. “People would also see him doing the score-clock at his high school for the volleyball games, and he always had a smile.
“I don’t know if he realized the impact that he really made on a lot of people,” she said. “So on the day of the walk (in Red Deer), I’ll give a speech and tell my story about how I became involved with MD.”
Besides working full-time and being a busy mom of two, Reinhart also spearheaded Muscles in Motion seven years ago to support others who fight MD in hopes to find a cure.
Visit www.muscle.ca for more information or to sign up. Find ‘Muscles in Motion 2017’ and ‘Muscular Dystrophy Canada’ on facebook as well for more details.