Like most little brothers, Michael (aged 10) looks up to his big brother. Bobby (only two years Michael’s senior) realizes, however, that Michael’s adulation is a bit different than that of other little brothers. At the age of 4 1/2, Michael looked to be as athletic as his brother. However, he often complained to parents Rob and Theresa about pain in his legs. What seemed to be nothing of great consequence at first, a regular doctor’s visit combined with blood tests confirmed something much more serious – Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
This disease (affecting 1 in 3500 boys worldwide) is the leading fatal genetic childhood disease. Devastated by the news, Theresa (pregnant at the time) worried that her unborn child may also be a carrier of the disease. Fortunately, that was not the case. Michael’s new sister Victoria was born in good health.
While Michael has been able to attend school, his regiment requires a lot of help on the part of his parents including regular stretching, electrotherapy, aqua therapy, and more. The parents began the charity Michael’s Cause in order to help raise awareness about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and funds for the research cause.
Michael’s mobility remains intact for now, although a scooter is used on longer trips. Steps are proving to be too difficult for Michael to climb, and plans are in place to renovate the family home to add a first floor bedroom, bathroom, and elevator. Dad Rob (a sergeant in the NYPD) has received assistance from Staten Island (NY) Building Foundation to make the necessary renovations, but costs still remain high.
Your donation can help us share a bit of happiness, hope, and comfort in the lives of Michael and families like his. Please consider a donation to Five Fathers Children’s Charity.