For the last four months, Amy Shinneman has been training to do something she never imagined doing: hitting the pavement as a participant in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Amy, a 45-year-old Noblesville, Ind., native, lives with Bethlem myopathy, a form of Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy that causes muscle weakness throughout her limbs. “From . . .
In May 2019, Jon Olson set out from Astoria, Oregon to bike across the US. He’s dedicating his miles to MDA, the research and care it supports, and the community it — and Jon — represents. So far, he’s raised more than $10,000. He’s ridden more than 2,500 miles and has about 1,000 left to . . .
While most visits to the doctor lead to a quick diagnosis, the same is not so for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). On average, getting an ALS diagnosis takes 12 months — a long time, considering that on average, ALS patients live for only two to five years after diagnosis. Some might call the process a . . .
Feb. 28 is Rare Disease Day, when the collective rare disease community raises awareness of the conditions with which we live and advocates for access to new novel treatments like Spinraza, the first FDA-approved disease-modifying drug for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare neuromuscular disease that affects people like 18-year-old Marley Robinson. Spinraza is making . . .
On Dec. 23, 2018, the MDA office of Minnesota and the Dakotas received its biggest gift ever — and it came as a surprise from one man who felt connected to MDA’s mission. Steven Williams, a native of Clarkfield, Minn. and a Vietnam War veteran, graduated from college in the mid-1970s with a degree in . . .
Jenni Gold has been writing, directing and producing film shorts, movies and TV shows for more than 20 years. She’ll tell you, since she was a kid making movies with a Hi8 camcorder, she’s been in love with Hollywood for a lot longer. She’ll also tell you there’s a problem with it. It’s failing the . . .
Growing up with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), Lainie Ishbia learned about living with invisible disability — experiencing the daily struggle of movement without looking, outwardly and obviously, as if that’s the case. She also learned, once ankle-foot orthotics (AFOs, or braces) made her disability visible, those devices designed to help make movement easier can also make . . .
Patrick Cusick’s journey with MDA — and with muscular dystrophy — started 12 years ago, in, of all places, a life insurance office. Twenty-nine at the time, the Ohio native and his wife were expecting their first child, and making preparations as parents (or soon-to-be parents) do. Securing life insurance meant taking some medical tests; . . .
Since 1897, the Boston Marathon has held a special place in the hearts of Bostonians. Held every third Monday in April, the Boston Marathon is one of the most famous races in the world, attracting runners of all abilities to a beautiful, grueling course that begins in the hilly western suburbs of Boston and ends . . .
Growing up, Marc van de Rijn was always interested in medicine. After briefly considering a career working with computers, a sudden health challenge after his freshman year of college made him realize that instead of sitting behind a desk, he wanted to work with people and become a doctor. “After my freshman year, I suffered . . .