Healthy Living

Muscular Dystrophy Was Not a Barrier for Maickel Melamed to Finish Boston Marathon

Muscular Dystrophy Was Not a Barrier for Maickel Melamed to Finish Boston Marathon

Walking and running for almost 20 hours may never cross the mind of a person with a disability. For someone with muscular dystrophy, it seems impossible to finish a marathon as this condition involves weakening of the muscles. Well, not for Maickel Melamed. Maickel, a muscular dystrophy patient, has proved that everything is possible if someone puts their heart and mind into what they want to do.

Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disease, and males are the ones mostly affected by this. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the types of muscular dystrophy. Generally, muscular dystrophy is known as a hereditary condition affecting the muscles by wasting away and weakening it.

Walking with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

It has never been a hindrance for Maickel Melamed to run with this condition. He is already 39 years old and yet, powerful and courageous to run a marathon in spite of having muscular dystrophy. He is born in Venezuela but has managed to run races in Berlin, Chicago, New York, and Tokyo.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) affects males at about 1 in 5,000 during birth. This is the most common type of muscular dystrophy and the type that Melamed has. According to research, 26 is the average life expectancy. However, with the provision of an excellent care, some may still live up to their 30s or 40s.

This is what has happened to Melamed; he survived the early years of his life. According to research, boys with DMD may already live continuously into young adulthood due to the advancement of technology in medical treatment.

However, it is vital to consult a specialist for DMD to constantly monitor the patient’s condition. Specialist doctors are still the best guide to battle it. Contacting a tertiary medical center or a university can also help as they are up to date with the latest treatments and technologies for the condition.

The symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)

The symptoms of DMD may be noticeable from 1 year old up to 6 years old. By the age between 6 and 11, muscle strength declines. Braces may already be needed for the patient to walk. Most of the boys at the age of 13 use a wheelchair. Here are the symptoms and signs of having DMD:

  • For babies, there’s a delay in motor development. It takes longer for them to sit and stand. Walking without assistance may take 18 months.
  • Waddling walk or unusual walk
  • Difficulty in getting up or rising from the floor
  • Hard time in climbing a stair
  • Inability to run
  • Experiencing Gower maneuver
  • Calf muscles are enlarged.
  • Having rigid or tight joints (contractures)
  • During early teens, the heart and respiratory muscles are having complications
  • Problems with breathing that can be life-threatening
  • Enlargement of the heart called cardiomyopathy (This stops the heart to efficiently pump blood.)
  • Weakening of the muscles on the hips, shoulders, thighs and pelvic area
  • Development of scoliosis
  • Cognitive impairment or problem in learning and memory
  • Communication issue for some
  • Struggles on social behavior

Read on to learn how Maickel Melamed, a muscular dystrophy patient, finished the Boston marathon in just 20 hours.

Photo Source: Maickel Melamed by Jalisco Campus Party