Thursday, April 20, 2017

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 2012 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)

Thank you for visiting the My Becker's Story blog!


Monday, March 13, 2017

The challenges of being a man with a physical disability

When it comes to slowly losing your muscle strength at times it can mean losing the ability to do many things others take for granted. Since I have lost a lot of strength in my arms over the years this has resulted in an inability to carry anything that is too heavy. Things many people can carry with ease such as a jug of milk or even a case of water. This means in many situations my wife ends up being the one carrying the heavy load. This is one of my biggest frustrations whenever we go grocery shopping as this can result in me looking like a jerk. Especially to those who are simple observers as they look at me and wonder why this man is making his wife carry everything that is heavy. As many in society expect the man to do all the heavy lifting. But I do understand that these people have no real clue about my physical limitations, as they see a man who may look perfectly fine in their eyes. Believe me at times I get the stares from total strangers looking me up and down as if they are judging me thinking there's no way this guy has a disability. This is just a part of living with a hidden disability and it has been something I have been dealing with since I was eighteen years old - so it's really nothing new. The truth is some people have a stereotypical view of what someone with a disability should look like and most days I don't fit that mold. So, when they see me not doing what is expected of a man especially when it comes to doing all the heavy lifting they might make the mistake of judging me and thinking I am lazy. I really can't blame them and sure it shouldn't bother me as to what people think as I already know that they simply don't understand.

 Still I do feel bad as I am unable to physically step up and help my wife and I hate the fact that she end's up doing all the heavy lifting. I am so thankful that she understands but to the untrained eye many people view me as a regular guy when they know nothing about my story. It's the same thing when total strangers give me dirty looks when they see me parking in an accessible parking space. Even other people with disabilities at times can be very ignorant to the fact that not every disability is visible. But they are not there when my leg gives out causing me fall or when I trip over a simple pebble on the ground, it's the main reason why I tend to walk with my head down looking for anything that may trip me up. At times it makes me look anti-social since I am always looking down. The facts are only those close to us at times can truly understand our physical limitations, but all too often total strangers make snap judgments simply because they don't know any better. They see the international sign for accessibility being someone in a wheelchair and automatically think that is what everyone with a disability looks like. The facts are ignorant people will always judge others and sometimes we make the mistake of caring what they think. Currently I am slowly becoming okay with other's seeing my wife carrying the things I find too heavy. If they look at me as a lesser man or think I am not a stand-up guy because of this, I don't let it bother me as I can't expect everyone to understand my situation. After all I can admit I may look like a tough guy who can carry my own weight but little do they know looks can be deceiving. In the end, it is truly unfortunate that in this day and age some people still have a stereotypical view of people with physical disabilities. 


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How losing the ability to climb stairs has affected my life

When it comes to living with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy at some point in our progression losing the ability to climb stairs eventually becomes a reality. In recent years, my inability to climb stairs has been having a major impact on my life. Now when it comes to where I live if there isn’t an elevator in the building I have no other choice but to live on the first floor. Even though I may look perfectly fine and still have the ability to walk my leg muscles are so weak that climbing stairs is now near impossible. If I could afford to I would move into a more modern building with an elevator so I can live on whatever floor I choose. A place where my wife wouldn't have to go down two flights of stairs to access the laundry room. I actually miss the days of being able to help out my wife by doing a bit of laundry while she is at work. Even with my issues I still do my best to help out around the home after all sitting around all day doing nothing isn't really that good for your health.

  Challenges visiting family & friend's

 When it comes to visiting family, or friends my inability to climb stairs has created a few problems. Just recently someone we know bought a townhouse with the only bathroom being located on the second floor. The last time we were there I needed to use the bathroom so I went up the stairs on my rear end step by step, then going back down in the same way. After this I could barely walk as my leg’s felt like rubber as they kept wanting to give out on me. In the moment, I was really frustrated knowing when we visit next time I would not be able to use their bathroom. So, at this point in my progression with Muscular Dystrophy it is now affecting my ability to get together with friend’s and family. I really wish when it came to hanging out with friends that they could simply come to my place. Only problem is that my current apartment is simply to small and better suit to someone who is single. And as my condition worsens it feels as if my apartment is getting smaller by the day -  especially in our bathroom if you make the wrong move your knee will smash into the counter. I even
 have the bumps and bruises to prove it. But due to the high cost of rent in my community a move currently isn’t even an option.

 The Biggest Wake-up Call of my Life

 My worst experience came a few years ago, when my wife and I attended a Josh Groban concert. At the time, I was still in denial concerning the progression of my Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy and that night I paid for it dearly. That night my troubles all began when I went to stand up after three hours of sitting in a very small and tight space. It is truly unfortunate that at almost every concert venue the seating they offer is usually very tight leaving you with little to no room to stretch out your legs. I guess not being able to stretch my legs out resulted in my legs became so weak that I just couldn't get up. In that moment my legs had lost all their feeling and strength. This ended up creating an awkward situation as I had never experienced this before. It was as if my legs weren’t even there anymore. Thankfully after a few minutes I was able to crawl up the steps on my hands and knee’s and use the railing at the top to stand back up. It was more than a little embarrassing. This whole experience acted as a wake-up call. This is when I also realized that accessible seating would have made a huge difference. It was in that moment I knew that stairs where quickly becoming my worst enemy. Fast forward to today and I avoid stairs at any cost as a simple fall while using them could end very badly. In many cases in my situation a broken leg would more than likely end with me never being able to walk again. Now, as I continue to lose strength in my muscles I know overtime other challenges will come my way and I hope I am ready to face them. As of today, the reality is that stairs are now my worst enemy.


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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Shouldn't we always treat other's how we want to be treated?

When it comes to treating other's how we want to be treated at time's it can be quite difficult. With all that happens these days on social media it's not uncommon to run into those who simply have a bad attitude. Throughout the years of sharing my story, I have met other people online who appear to simply be mad at the world. I have even met others with disabilities who are not the nicest people, a friend once told me that everyone has the ability to be a jerk, even those of us with disabilities. It reminds me of a time in my teens meeting a young man who was mad at the world because he had a disability. At the time, I couldn't understand why. But over the years I have learned that everyone is at a different stage in life and I can admit to at times being mad at the fact that I had Becker's Muscular Dystrophy. This was when I was in my twenties and looking ahead at all the challenges that I may face one day. At the time, I was feeling overwhelmed with the fact that my muscles will continually grow weaker taking away my ability to do things many people take for granted - like climbing stairs. So, I can fully understand some people's frustrations and why they might not feel like being so friendly all the time.

In life, I truly believe that no matter what we are going through we must still strive to treat each other with respect - this is when treating others how we want to be treated comes into play. Now I know the whole idea of treated others how you want to be treated might be a thing of the past but with the way things are in the world today, let’s hope more people consider treating each other better. Even in times when someone may have upset you or done you wrong.

Unfortunately, Sometimes I do fall short

Now I can admit I haven’t always been that good at following my own advice. At times, I have been guilty of not treating others with respect by not thinking things through - especially in times when I might be upset. I can also admit I am far from perfect and in the past, have offended others - something many of us have been guilty of doing at times. So, from now on I will start thinking things through and continue doing my best to stay focused on treating other’s how I want to be treated even if they don't show me the same respect! 


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Friday, February 10, 2017

A strange way for me to gain respect from a Bully

As a child, there were times when I would fight back against those who would bully me. On one occasion the end result was pretty surprising. At the time, I was in elementary school and when we returning from recess another student was bullying me, so badly that I ended up punched him in the face. Thankfully as a result of my physical limitations at the time the punch came across as very weak so it didn't end up hurting him. He just looked at me in shock with an expression as if I barely even touched him. Luckily, he didn't punch me back. Even better there were no teachers in the hallway to see what had happened or I would have been suspended. We all went back to our separate classes but I knew as the end of the day approached that the walk home might be problem. Reason being we both walked the same way home. So, when the bell rang at the end of the day and I started my walk home it was no surprised when he tried to pick a fight with me. Thankfully he was quickly interrupted when a man who knew me from church was driving by and stopped to make sure everything was okay. It was at that point when the other kid who was trying to fight me decided it was a better idea to just leave me alone.  

Thankfully all of this occurred with just a few days remaining in the school year. So, we never crossed paths again, that is until the next year when we both entered our first year of high school. With in days of the new school year we bumped into each other and to my surprise he was friendly enough to say hello. As if nothing ever happened, now I don't know if I somehow earned his respect for standing up for myself in elementary school but over the summer break he changed - which ended up being a good thing for me. Now we didn't become best friends or anything but we never had any issues ever again. In the end looking back it still wasn't a good idea for me to punch him in the face. Even after this experience I would never recommend punching anyone in the face, even if it is a bully as in many situations especially today that would only end up making things much worse. In my situation, I am just lucky he matured over the summer break.

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My story of Growing up and being Bullied in school,
 My Childhood with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy,