Crunch Time

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Hi again everyone. It’s been a hell of a couple months since I’ve made a post so it’s probably time I do. I know it might seem like I’m coming off as if my life has just been a waste but, it hasn’t been all bad.
Once I got a little older I was able to accept my handicap and learned to make the most of the hand I was dealt. High School was easily the biggest factor in my quality of life. I was lucky I had the best support system a kid could ask for and my friends always had my back. In fact, I was even elected homecoming king which was by far the best moment of my life.. Unfortunately nothing good lasts forever and since high school my health has steadily declined. I’ve had several leg fractures which has permanently made me wheelchair bound since I was 20.
At first, being in this fancy chair helped a ton and gave me a lot of my independence back. But, the sad truth about being confined to a chair is no matter if you have a debilitating illness or not your body breaks down. Human Beings are supposed to be upright not sitting down at all times.
Now my Scoliosis is so severe that the pain is constant and Iowa City is suggesting I go under the knife and have the curve corrected. Not only is this dangerous but risky since it’s not everyday a 25 year old boy with DMD has such a major surgery. Some think I should just make the most of what I’ve got because there’s no promise what might happen but I’ve decided I’d rather go down swinging than not try anything at all.
I’ve often wondered if my circumstances were different would I be happier? Would I still have met the awesome people in my life? The one thing I’ve learned through this fight is how to be accepting of others no matter what their handicap is. we might be different but our soul is still just as strong. I want you all to know I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten over the years and that I’ll never quit.

The Long Road Ahead

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Hey guys, Conrad again. I know it’s been a while since my last post, but winter tends to put a damper on everything. Last time, I took you guys back to when my family first discovered what my fate had become. Which was Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic mutation that only 1 in 3500 boys possess. During my early childhood, everything was mostly normal. I was still mobile, for the most part, which was a victory in itself; because the majority of kids with DMD are wheelchair bound by 8 years old. I got to do a lot more than anyone ever thought I would be able to. I played, I fought, I learned to ride a bike, I played baseball. I got to live a lot more than most and I’m damn thankful for it. The one thing I know now that I wish I would have known then, was to cherish the time I had because little did I know how difficult this life would be. I always thought this disease had nothing on me and I could beat it. That was until about middle school when I realized I was going to be like this for the rest of my life. It was a tough pill to swallow to say the least…

#KeepOnRollin

 

The Beginning

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Hi everyone, Conrad here. To get the best idea of my story, I thought it would be best if I took you back to the February of 1995, when my life changed forever…

In the beginning, I was just like any other healthy baby boy, thriving and full of energy, it wasn’t until I was about 3 when my parents and family friends began to notice there might be something wrong with me. They noticed I had trouble physically keeping up with the other kids and struggled to climb stairs and with getting up off the floor. We even had my grandpa put in a playground in the backyard thinking that would improve my mobility. But as time passed, they came to realize these symptoms were here to stay and the fact that mom was a nurse made her believe there was a clinical explanation for my condition. So, she called my pediatrician to have me examined. They ran some blood tests and called my parents to, unfortunately, confirm my mother’s fears. It was Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic mutation passed on by the mother which affects all skeletal muscle in the body. This disease, which my mom had only read about in the medical books, meant permanent symptoms and a bad life expectancy, This was the worst week of my life and I can’t even remember it. At the time, I didn’t even realize the impact this disease was going to have on my future.

look at this stud

look at this stud

Life was put on hold for a while, as I recall, and my family was completely devastated, it was as if they were having their boy taken away from them. After the fog passed, mom became my case manager and started making phone calls. I was first seen by the University of Iowa Medical Center. Unfortunately, back then, there just weren’t many answers and not much hope. However, we were given the contact of another parent whose child was diagnosed with DMD. When mom spoke with him, he mentioned a Dr. Karpati in Montreal who was the leading specialist for MD at the time. We met with him and he couldn’t believe how well I was doing, even at that time. Unfortunately, the only course of treatment was corticol steroids and physical therapy. Otherwise, stem cells were out of the picture and the outlook was bleak. The rest was up, and still is, to me.