Saturday, March 12, 2016

Welcome to the My Becker's Story blog!

Welcome to the My Becker's Story blog!

Join me as I share my Becker Muscular Dystrophy Story.

My name is Brad Miller and I was diagnosed with Becker Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 10, a condition which limits my ability to walk and gets progressively worse over time. I created the My Becker's Story blog in 2010 to share my story and to help raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy. Along with sharing my story I also raise awareness about accessibility and the issues people with disabilities face. When it comes to the My Becker's Story blog even though the focus is on Becker's Muscular Dystrophy I also want to encourage those affected by other conditions even other forms of Muscular Dystrophy to join in as well. I truly believe when we join "Together" we can make a difference in our communities and raise even more awareness about Muscular Dystrophy and the issues people with disabilities face. The main focus behind the My Becker’s Story blog is to tell my story in hopes that it will somehow help those living with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, as well as their families and friends.

What people are saying about the My Becker's Story blog:

"Hi there, I also suffer from BMD. Just read the blog and the first half is like reading my personal history!!"

"I ran across your spot today, you sure have a lot on here I will have to check in a lot. I also have BMD and everything you say resonates deeply."

"I am also in my mid-30's with Becker's from the UK so thought i'd join and say hello! Struggling with all the same things as mentioned in the blog!"

"I am new to this group. Just want to say it is nice to meet people who understand."

 "I love your blog and it is nice to know there are others out there facing the same challenges as I do each and every day."

If you would like to read my personal story about growing up with Becker Muscular Dystrophy please click on the image below.

When it comes to living with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy I intend to take what I have been through in my life and some how use it to help those going through a similar situation. When it comes down to it the main idea behind My Becker’s Story is to help those like me who are living with Muscular Dystrophy, by creating a place for us to connect. I truly believe that we are in this "Together". And I believe that with every one’s help that together we can help raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy around the world.

Laps for Muscular Dystrophy

Laps 4 MD Making a difference - One lap at a time.

 Along with sharing my story I also aim to make a difference in my community. The goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of others affected by Muscular Dystrophy. As a long time Motorsports fan in 2014 I founded Laps 4 MD - a network of professional racers who donate $1 from every lap they lead in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. I am truly thankful for everyone supporting the cause helping to make a difference in the lives of those affected by Muscular Dystrophy. To learn more please (Click Here)

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

When one wrong step leads to a painful injury

A few weeks ago I had a very bad fall, quite possibly one of the worst falls I have ever had. Usually when I fall I always end up on my rear and I quickly am able to get right back up. This time was much different as after this fall I could barely move as a result of the pain I was in. The worst thing about this fall is that it was very preventable. I actually slipped on a wet floor in the kitchen after using something called a swiffer to clean the floors. Sadly while exiting the kitchen I caught the one part of the floor that was still very wet. Unfortunately due to the fact I was wearing a pair of men's dress socks when my foot reached this part I slipped and went down right away landing very hard onto the right side of my leg. Right away I was all I could feel is excruciating pain from my the back of my knee all the way up the rest of my leg. I simply couldn't get up it hurt that bad, so my only option was to drag myself across the kitchen floor to living room where I used our couch to get back up. I sat there for a moment and quickly found out that I was unable to extend my leg without being in major pain. This was highly frustrating as I was to blame for my fall, I should have known to be more careful especially when cleaning the kitchen floor. 

Right away I felt as if I may have pulled a few muscles in my leg which helped to make the next week a very challenging one. Thankful I was still able to walk but depending on how I moved my leg the pain was almost unbearable. To be honest I have never been in so much pain in my life. After the first week I decided to see my family doctor who sent me to have some x-rays done on my right leg. The worst part of the x-ray was having to hold my leg still after they made me stand there in some pretty awkward and painful positions. Till this point there was still no bruising but that change the very next day. I guess from having the x-ray done and holding those awkward positions it must have aggravated my injury. As the very next day I was shocked when I saw the amount of bruising that had started appearing on the back of my leg. It was soon after this the pain started to subside. After two weeks of not being able to extend my leg fully it was starting to feel much better. The worst thing about not being able to extend my leg was that I was also unable to drive for those two weeks. Thankfully most of the pain is gone and now life has returned to normal.

In the end it sure was a hard way to learn the lesson that I need to be more careful when cleaning around my home. I already know that one bad fall can easily result in a major injury or even worse broken bones. Even though I am still able to walk I need to continue being extremely careful in avoiding falls, as I know this time I was very lucky.  

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Monday, January 4, 2016

The day smoking saved my life, now I don't smoke but...

The other day smoking saved my life. Now I don't smoke but often run into people who do in the parking lot of my apartment building. Thankful this happened the other day when I went to take some garbage out. Unfortunately the parking lot was covered in ice after some snow fell the other day and I didn't notice this until it was too late. It was at this point I started to slide on the ice, then my legs tensed up to help me avoid a fall. It was in that moment I realized I was stuck with nowhere to go as I was surrounded by ice. Unfortunately the parking lot had not been salted yet a common issue I run into every winter season.

Thankful someone was smoking outside in the parking lot at the time and I was able to ask them to give me a helping hand. He asked what was wrong and this led to a quick opportunity to share a little bit with him about Muscular Dystrophy. At this point he offered to take the garbage bags I was holding to the bin for me, which really helped me out. I quickly asked if he could assist me in getting off the ice safely. He helped me and I quickly made my way back inside. This is the day that someone's smoking habit actually saved my life or at least saved me from a nasty fall.

At this point in my life I am so happy that I am no longer shy about asking other people for help when I need it. The lesson learned on this day is that during the winter season it is a great idea to always wear my yaktrax slip on ice walkers. As they are a true life saver and a must have for any one still walking with Muscular Dystrophy! 

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Monday, November 30, 2015

My Becker's Story attends a Toronto Marlies Hockey Game

Toronto Marlies - Ricoh Coliseum
Over the weekend my wife and I attended a hockey game featuring the Toronto Marlies against the Saint John's Ice Caps. I was a little reluctant to go as accessibility was a concern. As many sports arenas only have a limited number of accessible seats available. The drive in wasn't too bad and when we arrived an paid for parking we were lucky to get the last accessible parking space that was available. So this was a great start to our day as this space was located directly across from the entrance to the arena. Resulting in only a short walk, something I was very thankful for. We then made our way to ticket windows inside to claim our complementary tickets. They kindly sent us to the fan zone where we had to line up to be given our free tickets. 

Then we waited in line for a few minutes, when we reached the front of the line I asked the two gentlemen handing out tickets if we could have accessible seating. At first they responded like a deer caught in headlights, like this was a question they had never been asked before. I am sure this is a question they rarely hear. They informed that the tickets they were handing out were not accessible. At this point in time they suggested we go back to the ticket window to purchase accessible seating. This concerned me as with them being complementary tickets I still wanted the tickets for free. When we arrived at the ticket window for the second time the young lady we were speaking seemed as if she didn't know what to do. Thankfully after she spoke with a few of her colleagues she was able to issue us free accessible seating.        
Accessible Seating at the Toronto Marlies game Ricoh Coliseum
The staff at Ricoh Coliseum where the Toronto Marlies play were very nice when we went through with out tickets. It took sometime to find our seats but thankfully the staff led us to the elevators. I have to say the accessible seating area offers a great view of the rink. To be honest every seat at Ricoh Coliseum provides fans with the perfect view. The seats were very comfortable offering great support and plenty of leg room. The biggest issue I have with regular arena seating is the limited space you have. Being able to sit in accessible seating really makes the difference for me. As many of living with Muscular Dystrophy who are still walking know we need all the room we can get when it comes time for us to get up. My suggestion to anyone who may need accessible seating to any event is to call ahead to reserve your seats. This will help to ensure you don't run into any problems. In the end I am so thankful that the staff at Ricoh Coliseum were able to help us out. After all its a great place to spend your time especially if you are a hockey fan. Unfortunately on this day the Toronto Marlies lost as the Saint John's Ice Caps won the game 5 -1. It is truly too bad the home team lost but I am sure they'll be back to there winning ways very soon.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Inaccessibility A major barrier for those with disabilities

Even a few steps can be a major barrier to those with disabilities
Sadly even today inaccessibility is still a major problem in so many communities, especially mine. You see the other night my wife and I decided to ordered pizza, now to save a bit of money we decided we would pick it up ourselves. We do this as it helps us to avoid having to pay the extra cost for delivery. On many occasions I go out on my own to pick up our order with no problem. Well on this night I am so thankful that my wife came along for the ride, because when we arrived I was greeted with more than a few steps to climb. Something that I am finding much harder to do with out risking one of my legs giving out causing me to fall. I am sure it doesn't surprise you that inaccessibility is an issue that many of us deal with on a daily basis. Thankfully on this occasion my wife with me and was able to walk up those steps to pick up our order. Sometimes I really wish that pizza stores didn't charge for delivery, well at least for customers with disabilities. Now the best part of the story is the fact that the pizza we ordered was simply amazing. Since pizza is my favorite food we won't hesitate to order from Free Topping Pizza again. Now I did hear they are opening another location which I am sure will be fully accessible. I just hope that one day hopefully soon that they make their downtown location fully accessible. As it won't only benefit those of us still walking who face physical limitations but wheelchair users as well.

So today I would like to challenge every company who can - to go out of their way to make everyone of their business locations fully accessible. As this is a much better plan than sitting back and doing nothing. Plus in the end these businesses win as those of us with disabilities have money to spend as well.

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