Why I Walk: So that Miguel Can Walk, Too

Miguel MW 2
Crossing the finish line at the 2016 Muscle Walk of Greater Boston Area

“November 1, 2011 was the day that everything changed for our family. We were sitting in a room with no windows and seemingly no air to breathe and the news came like a bulldozer: Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease with no cure that is 100% fatal. I couldn’t believe it. All I wanted to do was run out of that room. Tears were streaming down my face but then I looked over to see my beautiful boy smiling! My husband held me and said, ‘I’m not going anywhere and I love him just the way he is.’ In that moment, I knew that we would get through anything that comes our way. Miguel has been hospitalized four times and endured eight bouts of pneumonia and 15 procedures and surgeries. He has come through it all that with a smile on his face. He is only five years old and he doesn’t care that he is different from other kids. He knows he can do things — just in a different way. He is truly our hero and our inspiration. He is the reason we participate in Muscle Walk. I took him out of his wheelchair at the the end of the course so he could walk over that finish line and to prove that we will get him through anything. To hear everyone cheering and clapping his great accomplishment was wonderful for him. We are making memories for Miguel!” — Stacy Santiago, Miguel’s proud mother