30 Days of MD: Being a Teenager with MD


by Danielle "Dani" Liptak |

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Day 1 of #30daysofMD Introducing, Destiny! I was born with Muscular Dystrophy, but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 9 years old. Actually, I didn’t appear to have any major symptoms until I was 9, so up until that year, I was normal. My regression would go deathly slow, and then all at once. I remember the moment I lost mobility in my right arm: I was in karate class, doing warm ups. I through my right punch right in front of me and it slowly dropped down to my side and I was unable to pick it back up. Like I said, at the time it happened, I was normal. My Sensei yelled that my form was wrong, and everyone around me just assumed I was incapable of performing a simple task. My doctors suggested almost immediate surgery on my right arm because it was my dominant hand; I had already been scheduled for surgery due to loss of mobility in my left arm. The rest of my mobility loss followed this abrupt pattern: barely detectable, then out of nowhere. School was very difficult for me, as I was still dealing with all the normal teenage drama/emotions, and now an added muscle eating disease. I got weaker as the years went by, and it was something that I just had to deal with. Life’s not going to stop because you asked nicely, so I kept moving. I remember being crippling embarrassed (pun intended) the first day I had to ride a wheelchair into school. I was beyond mortified. I also remember falling into -what I like to call- my “Great Depression”. But through God, I prevailed and have been living my life as best I can since. I’m currently shopping for wheelchairs like they’re new Bugattis, and trying to be the best version of myself. I’m only 16 but I feel like I’ve already lived a thousand lives. I think overall, I can say that I’m grateful for my experience. I’ve learned many life lessons and think that I am a better person because of what I’ve gone through. I’m embracing that crippled lifestyle and I do it through the support of my friends, family, God and the MDA community.

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