When I was first diagnosed with Becker muscular dystrophy, the only thing I really noticed was that I just couldn’t keep up with other children my age. Even at a very young age, I really didn’t allow it to bother me that much. Most times I kept a positive attitude about things. Sure I had trouble running, which limited my ability to participate in team sports, but I just didn’t let it get to me. To be honest, most times I didn’t allow my condition to keep me from being involved in playing sports with my friends. What really helped me a lot was the fact that most of my close friends knew about my condition growing up, and they just allowed me to play sports at my own pace.
When I was younger, I actually remember a time when my church's youth group was going to a local park to play a game of softball. At first, I didn’t think I was going to be able to play, but thankfully one of my friends offered to run for me. This allowed me to join in the game and have a great time with everyone, and what made that day even better is that when it was my turn up to bat, I hit the ball so far that the person running for me actually made it all the way to third base. As you can see, thanks to my friends, I was still able to be involved in sports, just in a different way.
Sure, I ran into a few problems growing up, but to be honest, having Becker muscular dystrophy really didn’t end up ruining my life. From the day of my diagnosis to at least the age of 18, my life wasn’t that bad, and there were actually many things I could still do. Stairs were a bit of a problem, but when I was younger, I was still able to climb them; I just had to go up and down in my own unique way.
Living with Becker muscular dystrophy, I have faced a few challenges and at times I just adapted to the situation and did things in a way that worked best for me. Growing up I learned pretty quickly that when going down stairs, I really have to take my time. It was the same when it came to me playing sports; I just had to do it at my own pace. You see, there were still many things I was able to do as a child — I even joined my friends whenever they would go to the local amusement park. I had to take a lot of breaks, but I was still able to have a great time. What really helped a lot was the fact that many of my friends understood what my limitations were. As you can see, I wasn’t always limited by Becker muscular dystrophy. Now I’m not saying my life was easy; physically there were still things I couldn’t do, but I didn't focus on them.
You see, when I was a child, I had many different hobbies that ended up helping me get through the tough times. One thing I was really into was music, which took up a big part of my spare time. In 2001 I was actually lucky enough to recorded a song titled "After all I’ve been thru" with a few of my friends. As you can see, growing up I refused to allow my condition to hold me back. Of course there were times when it did, but even if there were things I couldn’t do, I just accepted them, stayed positive and went on with life.
My focus over the years has always been to look at the positive and not just the negative things in life. Being able to focus on the things in life that make me happy has helped immensely. So if you have recently been diagnosed with Becker or any other form of muscular dystrophy, the best advice I can give you is to just focus on the things in life that you can do. And I guarantee you will find ways to enjoy your life to the fullest, just like me.