Firstly I’d like to say a massive THANK YOU for taking the time to read this.
My name is Ilana Marismari and I am a first year Physiotherapy student at Brunel University. I recently learnt that a close friend of mine has made the brave decision to accept that he needs to buy an electric wheelchair to continue to live independently and to be able to attend university next year.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is an inherited neurological disease that results in a default to the gene that produces dystrophin. This protein is responsible effective muscular function within skeletal and cardiac muscles. The defect causes a rapid degeneration of the muscles. As the muscle wastes, it is replaced by fatty substances and connective tissues which make normal muscle function impossible.Benjamin James was diagnosed with DMD a few years after birth. He is now 18 and has surpassed all doctors’ expectations of being able to manage this long without a wheelchair.
My FIRST challenge is to complete a duathlon, with my father, which consists of a 10Km run, followed by a 44Km cycle and finished off with a 5Km run. For those of you reading this who know me personally, you will be aware that I am a reasonably active individual. However this will be a huge challenge even for me. I wanted to complete a physical challenge because Benjamin’s reality made me realise just how much I take for granted the ability to walk, run and jump with no effort.