Party of 9 – a Column by Betty Vertin

3 Reasons I Love Having 3 Sons With DMD

Before COVID-19, I used to travel a lot and participate in several in-person meetings and conferences related to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Unfortunately, having three sons with DMD is somewhat rare, so I was sometimes shy to share this fact when introducing myself. When I did, the room would often…

What I’ve Learned About Adaptive Skiing and Duchenne

In a previous column, I mentioned that my family would be skiing in Winter Park, Colorado, over Christmas break. My sons Max, Rowen, and Charlie, who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, tried adaptive skiing for the first time. The experience taught us a lot. Traveling with the boys requires…

Coping With the Stress of Caregiving

Being the mother and caregiver of three sons living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy brings a lot of stress. Much of it is everyday stress that I have learned to live with and don’t always notice — like knowing that three of my children have a fatal and incurable disease, and…

Holiday Gift Ideas for Loved Ones With DMD

I often see posts in Facebook groups and other places asking about what holiday gift ideas people might have for sons with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Duchenne can affect different muscle groups, and patients can experience both muscle weakness and problems with muscle control in performing tasks and activities,…

It’s Never Just a Cold

I have shared many times in this column that I have three sons with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. People sometimes think I’m an expert on the subject. But the truth is that my boys are unique, and Duchenne has affected each of them differently. Their disease progression and weakening muscles…

Making Friends, Having Friends With Duchenne MD

On a Facebook page that documents our family’s journey with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, I recently posted about how invitations to birthday parties and friends’ houses are not typical for my three boys with Duchenne, especially with them using chairs full time. However, the post celebrated the fact that my…