“Your son has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.”
Those were the devastating words Andrew’s parents, Jodi and Mitch, heard when Andrew was just 3 years old. Their son had a neuromuscular disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. It was hard for them to have hope.
Andrew was immediately referred to the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic to Dr. Jerry Mendell and his team, and has been cared for ever since. That was 7 years ago. Recently, Andrew was in a clinical trial for a potential therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Due to the amazing efforts of Dr. Mendell and many others, Andrew and boys around the country are now receiving this first ever FDA approved Duchenne treatment.
“Andrew would not be where he is today without the great care he has received. The hospital has been a light in the darkness. They gave us hope when we had none left. The caregivers, doctors and nurses treat him as if he was their own child,” says his mother, Jodi.
The Muscular Dystrophy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s is nationally recognized for leading research and clinical care for patients with any of the muscular dystrophy types. We provide the highest level of comprehensive care to patients from across the country. Nationwide Children’s is the first Certified Duchenne Care Center by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the leading advocacy organization working to end DMD.
Andrew lost his ability to walk in February 2015 and uses his wheelchair to get around. His favorite sport is track because he’s a member of the Licking County Special Olympics track team, where he excels.
“It’s challenging at times and very taxing for him, but he is always smiling and knows how to make lemonade out of lemons,” Jodi says.
When Andrew was first diagnosed, Andrew’s parents were very motivated to start running. They signed up right away for their first half-marathon and have been participating in them ever since.
Andrew is happy to be a patient champion for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon and to do something for the hospital that has helped him so much.
“I am excited because since I can’t walk or run, I can help the runners be brave,” says Andrew.