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The Three Pirates and the Missing D-Diamond

Set sail on your search for the missing D-Diamond! 

*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.

“Our team thought that a “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” structure might work well to explain the effects of too little, too much, and just the right amount of exercise, and we wanted to make sure the story was appealing to an 8-year-old boy. We decided to write a story about three friends, Diego, Drake, and Derek, who enjoyed pretending to be pirates and all had [Duchhenne’s Muscular Dystrophy],” said Abbey Verslues, one of the Doctor of Physical Therapy students who worked on The Three Pirates and the Missing D-Diamond.

She and her team used an exercise-based scenario to explain what would be appropriate for children with DMD. They identify the ‘D-Diamond’ as dystrophin, a vital protein for muscles, that is missing in a DMD diagnosis. 

This project took skills that aren’t normally utilized by DPT students as well as a good portion of time. 

“It requires strategic-thinking to portray health-related information in a format that a child would understand, and requires even more creativity to present the information in an appealing way for a child. But if the end result is knowing that you’ve empowered a child to better understand their condition and improve their health and well-being, then any required effort and time is well worth it,” said Verslues.