30 Days of MD: My Son Has an Exciting Life Despite Duchenne

BNS Staff avatar

by BNS Staff |

Share this article:

Share article via email
30 Days of MD | Muscular Dystrophy News | Reader submissions | 30 Days of MD graphic

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hadel

Day 10 of 30

This is Melissa Hadel’s (@duchennewontstopusmd) story:

My son, Brodie, doesn’t know his father. He loves his father and hopes he’s doing well, but they haven’t seen each other in four years.

Brodie has had to adjust to living with my parents, to living with just me, and then to living with his stepfather. Then we realized another challenge in his life: sensory processing disorder and placement on the Autism spectrum.

Not only does Brodie stay positive even when running far behind other kids due to his out-toeing and toe-walking — which we now know is due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy — but he has had to begrudgingly attend weekly occupational therapy for difficulty with transitions and behavioral issues. To top it all off, right before we learned about his MD diagnosis, he went through a urological surgery for bi-lateral undescended testes.

Brodie is only 7, and he’s already comfortable with needles, doctor’s appointments, weekly hour-long infusions, and twice-a-day slant-board sessions. Soon, he’ll have the stretching casts on his legs for three to six weeks, and he’s already getting comfortable with different physical assistance, including lots of breaks and a wagon we use to pull him around.

At his young age, Brodie has travelled extensively, to Rome for a friend’s wedding, California for another friend’s wedding, and Sedona, Arizona, for a family vacation, as well as Florida to see family and attend our weekly band practice. Three members of our family are in a folk/rock band, and Brodie used to spend a lot of time at my sister’s bar, which she owned in Baltimore before the pandemic.

Brodie has an exciting life with many splendors and opportunities, and this diagnosis could not have happened to a better family more suited to ensuring Brodie has the highest quality of life possible. He will be raised in an environment that will always encourage him to do better and see the sun through any gray sky. We will be life-long advocates for people with this unfortunate and wretched disease.

Muscular Dystrophy News’ 30 Days of MD campaign will publish one story per day for MD Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofMD, or read the full series.