Thursday, December 18, 2014

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 I am a freelance journalist living with Becker Muscular Dystrophy, 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 Becker’s 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.

The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Team Brad at the 2013 Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

 Along with sharing my story I also aim to make a difference in my community. Since 2010 my friends and family have joined "Team Brad" in support of my efforts to raise funds that benefit people like me who are living with Muscular Dystrophy. The Durham Region Walk supports Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission to enhance the lives of those affected by neuromuscular disorders. To learn more please (Click Here)

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

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Laps for Muscular Dystrophy was a huge success in 2014

Laps for Muscular Dystrophy 2014
Laps for Muscular Dystrophy is a new fundraising campaign in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada that was created by the My Becker's Story blog. As many of you may already know I started sharing my story about living with Muscular Dystrophy almost 5 years ago. Along with living with BMD I am also a huge motorsports fan. I actually grew up around racing and I am thrilled to be able to combine my love for motorsports with raising awareness of Muscular Dystrophy. I truly believe that Laps for Muscular Dystrophy is a great opportunity for Canadian race car drivers and teams to join together to help make difference in the lives of those affected by Muscular Dystrophy. In 2014 Race drivers who joined in support of Laps 4 MD helped to raise funds by donate $1 from every lap they lead to Muscular Dystrophy Canada. It was amazing to have the support of some of Canada`s top race drivers and I am really excited about the future of Laps 4 MD. 

Shelby Mills
In 2014 Laps for Muscular Dystrophy was supported by Dirt Track racer Shelby Mills. Shelby Mills is 22 years old and her home track is Brighton Speedway located in Brighton Ontario, Canada. She was excited to have the opportunity to support Laps 4 MD during the 2014 race season and helped to raise $100 in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada`s mission. She says; "As a nursing student, and now as a nurse I wanted to incorporate that part of me into my racing. Supporting Laps4MD allows me to continue to participate in the sport I love but also help people and raise awareness for a great cause."

Joey McColm
During the 2014 race season Laps for Muscular Dystrophy also welcomed well known race car driver Joey McColm as a supporter. Joey currently competes in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and is based out of Ajax, Ontario Canada. Joey McColm is pleased to be competing the in the #25 Canada’s Best Racing Team Dodge. He is also a top contender to win NASCAR Canadian Tire Series most popular driver. All year long during pre-race autograph sessions you could find Joey surrounded by a large crowd as he is truly a fan favorite. We are really looking forward to working with Joey yet again in 2015 as we have big plans in store. We thank Joey for all his support in 2014.
Ben Young
There is no doubt that in its first year Laps for Muscular Dystrophy has already been a huge success. Brad is happy to report that Laps 4 MD has done a lot to raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy amongst many race drivers. So much so that at the end of the 2014 race season added to more racer this included Canadian resident Ben Young, who competes in the British Superbike Championship with Team WD40 who supported Laps 4 MD in his last two races of the season. Ben says: “It’s an honour to help support Laps 4 MD and their efforts to help make a difference in the lives of over 50,000 Canadians affected by neuromuscular disorders.” In support of Ben's effort our friend over at Infinet MotorSports donated $25 to Muscular Dystrophy Canada. 

Matt Garwood
Near the end of the 2014 race season Laps 4 MD was happy to welcome Canadian race drivers Matt Garwood to the long list of those support Laps for Muscular Dystrophy. Matt Garwood currently competes in the Formula 1200 Series and in 2012 was also awarded Rookie of the Year. Brad is so excited to have Matt join in support of Laps 4 MD and is assured by Matt`s comment found below he is excited to be able to play a role in helping to improve the lives of over 50,000 Canadians affected by Muscular Dystrophy. Matt Garwood says; "It is an honour to support and represent Laps4MD throughout the conclusion of this year and in to the 2015 racing season. Laps4MD has been helping people with Muscular Dystrophy and I am thrilled to lend a hand"

As you can tell by the comments from the drivers who are already supporting Laps for Muscular Dystrophy the future seems bright for this new fundraising campaign in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. We simply can’t wait till the start of the 2015 race season which is already shaping up to be even bigger and better.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brad's Ultimate Christmas Wish List

Well it's that time of year again when gift giving is in season. So in keeping with the season here's my Ultimate Wish List. Sure a genie in a bottle will never appear and grant me any of these wishes but why not dream a little right? Well to be honest I was actually tempted to call this my list of things I more than likely will never be able to have. As that would make for a very long blog post title we will just call this Brad's Ultimate Christmas Wish List. So just for fun here it is.

First on my list would have to be the 2015 Toyota Sienna Dub Edition. A mini-van that sure stands out in the crowd. The main reason I want a Toyota Sienna is due to the fact that it is much easier to get in and out of then my current subcompact car. The Sienna would solve so many issues and the fact that it could also hold a mobility scooter makes it the perfect vehicle to suit my needs. It also doesn't hurt that the Toyota Sienna is one of the best looking mini-vans out there especially when it comes the amazing Dub Edition which appeared at this years SEMA show. Sure it is a one off custom version but it would suit me just fine. Approximate value well over $60,000.

Second would have to be owning a home and being mortgage free. Owning a fully accessible home build to suit my current and even my future needs would be amazing. Sure it wouldn't be cheap but hey this is a wish list so reality really doesn't matter right? The dream is to own a bungalow as climbing stairs is a lot more difficult than it used to be. This would make life so much easier. Add in an attached garage with an entrance into the home and I'd be living in heaven. This would result in no more worrying about slipping and falling or clearing my driveway during the winter time. Best of all no more cleaning off the car during the winter season. The home you see above is a fully accessible home and would cost a well over $300,000. Anyways one can dream.

Being a huge Motorsports fan I would love to have an Xbox One with every racing title ever produced for that gaming system. You see as a child it was my dream to become a professional race car driver. That dream never came true as a result of having Muscular Dystrophy but playing racing games allows it to come true - just in a different way. Now I wouldn't spend all my time playing racing games add in NHL 2015 and I can have gaming nights with friends. Along with the Xbox One add in a 50 inch LED HDTV with surround sound and you have gaming perfection. This might be the cheapest of all my wishes but highly worth it.

My biggest hope and dream is to one day see a cure found for all forms of Muscular Dystrophy. I am guessing that should be an obvious choice especially since I have been living with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy since the age of 10.  I am sure that this is a hope and dream of so many like the family and friends of those affected by Muscular Dystrophy. Yes this wish should have been number one and it actually is for so many of us. It reminds me of the old Master Card TV commercial as the cost of this dream would be priceless! The hope is that this one comes true within the next few years and I believe anything is possible. The picture found here is from the Halos for Muscular Dystrophy Facebook page. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thank you so much Muscular Dystrophy Canada!

Brad at the Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy
When it comes to sharing my story of living with Muscular Dystrophy this also includes taking you through the challenges I might face when dealing it's progression. One of the issues I have been facing a lot lately has been related to the challenge of getting up from a seated position. I am sure you can understand that this has caused more than a few challenges within my daily life. Including getting up and out of my car and also when it comes to standing up from the couch in my apartment. You see part of living with a muscle wasting condition is dealing with it's progression and slowly losing the ability to things that you once found much easier to do. Surprisingly I have been able to push through the frustration and find new ways to help make my life a little easier. Simple things like pushing up off of a coffee table has been working for me for many years. But I have finally reached the point where it simply isn`t providing as much help as it use to. This is when I finally decided it was time to reach out to Muscular Dystrophy Canada - as a long time volunteer I knew they would be able to help me.

Now I am sure if anyone has spent any time looking at mobility aids that the first thing you notice is that some items can be very expensive. So some of us just have to make due and continue using methods that work for us such as pushing up off of a table or another chair to stand up. But sometimes you reach a point when you can no longer make due. That is why I am so thankful for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and those who donate in support of their mission to enhance the lives of those affected by neuromuscular disorders. I am so thankful that they fully understand the issues we face when it comes to dealing with the progression of Muscular Dystrophy. Thankfully as a registered client of Muscular Dystrophy Canada they were able to help me through there Equipment Program. I am happy to report that it was just last week when I received my new lifter chair. It really does go a long way in helping me stand up from a seated position. To be honest it has changed my life and that is why I am so thankful for those who donate and support organizations like Muscular Dystrophy Canada. So if you have ever donated in support of their efforts thank you for playing a role in changing my life. 
My Lifter Chair thanks to Muscular Dystrophy Canada`s Equipment Program 
Thankfully the process I went through of getting a lifter chair was made easy by the staff at Durham Medical - a long time sponsor of the Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. I was really impressed with their service and the fact that out of the two mobility aid stores I went to they actually gave Muscular Dystrophy Canada the best price. Once I had the appropriate forms filled out I mailed them back to Muscular Dystrophy Canada and within a week my chair was delivered to me.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dealing with falls and using the Gowers Maneuver

Growing up with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy definitely has its challenges. Throughout the years I have actually tried to ignore the fact that I even had Muscular Dystrophy. Something many of us do when diagnosed with any condition. The truth is you can only ignore it for so long. You see from time and time little things will happen that quickly reminds us of our condition. It's in these time's when most of us might feel alone in our situations. Most of my reminders come in public when I am either walking in a store or just simply stepping off a curb when one of my leg gives out causing me to fall. It's like one moment your walking without a worry in the world and the next thing you know your on the ground. Thankfully when this happens it usually doesn’t result in an injury, but I am sure you can understand it does leave me feeling embarrassed and at times pretty frustrated.

I am sure those living with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy or other conditions who are no longer walking and are now using wheelchairs can remember the days when they too faced similar situations. To be honest and I am sure many others will agree you never really get used to falling. After years of suffering many slips and falls I have yet to reach a point in my life where I get up off the ground with a big smile on my face. It is truly hard to act as if nothing really happened especially when it happens in front of family or in my situation as a child when I was trying to impress a girl. But I will save that one for another blog post. Now when it comes to falls at times it can put us at risk. The other day I was walking in a parking lot when one of my legs gave out, I ended up on the ground behind some parked cars. Thankfully no one was backing up out of a spot or I might not be here to share this blog post with you. Thankfully in this situation I was able to use the chrome bumper of a pick up truck as a support to help me get back up. You see when those of us the BMD fall we need something to push off of to get up off the ground. Eventually as our muscles weaken it becomes harder to push off of our legs to get back up. That means if we fall
in an open area we may have to crawl to the closest chair or table so we can use it to push off of to help us get back up. Many of us in our younger years were able to use something known within the Muscular Dystrophy community as the Gower's Maneuver - but eventually it does become much harder for us to do.

When it comes to living with Becker Muscular Dystrophy there are those out there who believe our lives are relatively easy. Sure in the early years we might be better off but as we age we do slowly lose the ability to things most people take for granted. When it comes to the issue of dealing with falls related to living with BMD eventually we do reach a point when the only way to avoid falls is to consider using mobility aids such as canes and wheelchairs.

Related Posts:
My personal story growing up with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy,
Life after being diagnosed with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy,
Living with Muscular Dystrophy and dealing with "Weak Days",
Living with BMD: Dealing with falls & size of calf muscles &
When stairs become your worst enemy

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