DMD and Me: Living with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy

A Day in the Life

*This project was part of a larger story about Physical Therapy students who created children’s books to help different age groups cope with a diagnosis of Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Read more about the project here.

DMD and Me: Living with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy tells the story of a typical day in the life of a young boy with DMD. It’s reflective of the different ways that a child with DMD interacts with the world and how they adapt to it to achieve all the things they want to do.

Mariah Cairer, a Doctor of Physical Therapy student, remarks on the importance of having these types of stories available to kids who deal with DMD as well as other diagnoses. 

“Having these resources in your clinic for kids to explore, especially in rural areas where they maybe wouldn’t have access to this… is something I’d want to pursue,” said Cairer. She believes that having a more creative option to express the needs and specific limitations for children is important for clinicians.

While important for healthcare providers, it can also be an essential tool for families and caregivers to facilitate hard conversations.

“I felt a lot of gratitude to be able to come up with some sort of framework for parents to be able to have that conversation because there is no right time,” said Colin Salander, a Doctor of Physical Therapy student, of his own project in the course. 

The children should be able to take away an educational understanding of their diagnosis, but above anything else, they should know that they can do anything they choose. 

“Life is going to look a little different, but [you] can still do really awesome things with it,” said Cairer.