Educating the masses on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
I get to do lots of cool stuff being a physical therapist. In particular, I get to do a lot of cool stuff for KIDS as a physical therapist!! And on this particular day, it was for Seph.
Seph has Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy. It is a disease with a poor prognosis. That's the bad news. But the good news is that they seem to be on the verge of some breakthrough treatments, and lots of money is raised every year to address such medical breakthroughs!! On this day, Seph was at his doctor, in Cincinnati, having his annual work up.
I took this opportunity to go to his classroom to talk to his classmates about Muscular Dystrophy. I wanted them to be comfortable asking me anything they wanted and not be inhibited by having their classmate present. I was primarily there to prepare them and some of the staff for the service dog which would be accompanying Seph to school when he returned . This would be new to EVERYONE at the school. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is new to everyone in the parish school system. Perhaps the state?!!
To help the kids understand how things are harder for Seph and why he may need the help of his dog, Presley, I borrowed a fireman's uniform and asked his best buddy to put it on. I had the kids race getting off the floor, and reminded them that Seph is more likely to fall down, and with the uniform on, they realized that it is much harder to get back up once down. This is one of the things Presley has been trained to do.... help his boy up! Also, we raced with and without the uniform on. And I used resistance bands which I used to provide additionally work to the guys who were volunteering for these activities. I think they all got the picture.
The kids asked intelligent questions. I was proud of their maturity during the inservice.
And I am proud to say that Seph and Presley had their first successful day at school last week. Muscular Dystrophy is NOT cool! Be grateful today that you are healthy and that you have healthy children. And be thankful for those who train service dogs so kids like Seph have a compadre and helper and best friend as he travels this path. Pray for Seph. and positively expect a cure.