Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Muscular Dystrophy Canada

August 31, 2011 12:00 ET

Muscular Dystrophy Through the Eyes of A Mother

Mother of 7-Year-Old Speaks About the Effects of Her Son's Disorder on the Family

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2011) - In support of September as Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month, the mother of 7-year-old Owen, Angela McGonigal speaks about the challenges and barriers her family faces with a child affected by a neuromuscular disorder. Muscular dystrophy, in particular Spinal Muscular Atrophy, affects the McGonigal family in more ways than one; emotional, physical, and financial pressures are a constant concern.

"SMA and Owen's condition has an impact in all aspects of our lives from the decisions we make about where we live, the type of home we live in, the vehicles we drive, the summer camps Owen attends to the recent summer vacation we took," says Angela.

Accompanied by these concerns are health worries and financial stresses. "Every cough and cold has you worried about whether this will lead to another hospitalization, and every time he outgrows a piece of equipment it feels like a juggling act to figure out how to pay for it."

SMA is just one of more than 150 neuromuscular disorders under the umbrella of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. SMA in particular is characterized by a degeneration of muscle function resulting in muscular atrophy and weakness. The symptoms of neuromuscular disorders vary according to the condition, and may be mild, moderate or life-threatening. There is currently no cure. It is estimated that more than 50,000 Canadians and their families are affected by a neuromuscular disorder.

The McGonigal family keep themselves informed, and advocate on behalf of Owen to ensure that he will live a fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy life with some independence.

"Keep fueling our hope that someday we'll 'make muscles move.' There has been so much progress on therapies for many neuromuscular diseases but research is very expensive. If you come across a fundraising event for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, please consider how worthy a cause this is. There are many children in Canada who need your help to fund wheelchairs and other expensive medical equipment," says Angela when asked how Canadians can help lessen some of the challenges families like hers face.

Muscular Dystrophy Canada's mission is to enhance the lives of those affected with neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well funded research. To learn more about muscular dystrophy and Muscular Dystrophy Canada, visit

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