Boy with juvenile dermatomyositis scores a touchdown

For more than 60 years, fire fighters have teamed with MDA to fight back against muscular dystrophy, ALS and related life-threatening diseases.

For one fire fighter, the cause became very personal when his son, Chandler Mallen, was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis, a neuromuscular disease that involves inflammation of the muscles. When Chandler asked his father — Scott, a firefighter who has collected donations for MDA’s Fill the Boot program for almost 25 years — if he’d lose the use of his legs, he didn’t wait for an answer.

“Even if I do,” Chandler said, “I’ll never stop trying.”

Now 14 and with the disease in clinical remission, eighth-grader Chandler got the opportunity recently to fulfill a long-time dream: to score a touchdown in a competitive football game. An essential part of his middle school football team since joining as its manager in sixth grade, Chandler suited up for the first play of the of the last game of the season.

Check out a feat in the video below that wouldn’t have been possible without early detection and state of the art treatment at an MDA Care Center.

MDA and its partners like the International Association of Fire Fighters will never stop fighting for kids like Chandler and their families. Together, we hope to create a world where we all can play, run, laugh, breathe and live unlimited. 

Help support MDA’s efforts to find treatments and cures for juvenile dermatomyositis and other muscle debilitating diseases.