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Disease doesn’t discriminate: MD affects all

When Alex Chiabai was two years old, his parents noticed that something wasn’t quite right. He was late rolling over, sitting up and standing.

When Alex Chiabai was two years old, his parents noticed that something wasn’t quite right. He was late rolling over, sitting up and standing.

Diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Alex, now 10, has trouble keeping up with his peers — unable to run, climb and play sports like other kids his age, according to his mother Debra Chiabai, vice-president of the Ottawa chapter of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Chiabai, who is hoping to raise awareness of the disease this month, said few people know that there are more than 100 types of muscular dystrophy, symptoms for which can show up shortly after birth or later on in life.

But with a great support system, Alex is “a pretty lucky kid,” she said.

“We have an excellent team at CHEO,” said Chiabai.

“The services here in the Ottawa area are very good. We live in a city with a group of world-class hospitals and doctors ... and there is an incredible research facility here for neuromuscular disease.”

There’s also Muscular Dystophy Canada, which improves the lives of those living with muscular dystrophy through funding research and equipment and providing information, education, peer support and referrals to doctors and specialists.

 
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