Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive X-linked form of muscular dystrophy, affecting around 1 in 3,600 males, which results in muscle degeneration and premature death. The disorder is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene, located on the human X chromosome, which codes for the protein dystrophin. Dystrophin is an important structural component within muscle tissue that provides structural stability to the dystroglycan complex (DGC) of the cell membrane. While both sexes can carry the mutation, females rarely exhibit signs of the disease.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a rare muscle degenerating disorder. The disorder affects 1 in every 3,600 males and leads to a premature death. This blog entry is about DMD and what it does to a family. Our family is an ordinary family, big, medium and small issues we have them all. Sometimes it may look like we have it all together but the reality is we hurt just like everyone that takes breathe and walks this earth. The interesting thing is about a life threatening disease is that it not only threatens the life of it’s host but it wreaks havoc on those who love it. If only “it” would be adequate you may not be reading this blog post, if only “it” was adequate I may not have written this entry or even known DMD existed. However, “it” won’t suffice. There is a name, face and whole lot of love for the boy that carries this muscle degenerating disease and his name is Davis. Davis is my cousin he is my family. The news, the day we were all informed of what was going on is a day I will never forget. I honestly had no idea what DMD was and so I spent the next couple of hours scouring the Internet looking for medical journals and entries covering the disease. What I learned rattled me to my bones. This information, this new knowledge came over me with a cold stillness. Now what? I started to pray, as I know the rest of my family did. We started to look for ways to help Davis. Years came and went and this new TV show called Hell On Wheels started taking the scene by storm. It was a show I really enjoyed watching season after season. I would call dad and talk to him about how cool it was to have a western on TV produced with such a high production level. Last year we picked up on a fundraising campaign Anson Mount, the main character of the show was pushing on social media. Through doing a little digging we realized he was raising awareness for DMD and trying to fund studies at Vanderbilt to find a cure. Needless to say we got involved and did our part in helping raise funds. When the campaign came to an end we received an email inviting us to come see the set and meet the cast! Being such a fan of the show and actually working in film production myself I was beyond excited to make the trip up to Calgary, Alberta. Dad and I bought our plane tickets, packed our bags and grabbed the passports and took off! We touched down in just enough time to check into our hotel and crash for the night. The next day we made our way about 30 miles south of downtown Calgary to the set of Hell On Wheels. We toured every square inch of the place and ended up getting to shoot skeet out behind the “living quarters” location. After we dusted some clays and us Texas boys showed them how it was done we settled into the dining hall for an amazing dinner. There was so much to choose from and it was all so good! As we ate we went around the table and share stories about who we were and where we came from and why fighting DMD was so important to us. It was interesting to hear everyone’s stories, I learned quite a bit about how different every single humans path is. The night drew to an end and we made our way back to our hotel and during the car ride we decided to get up early enough to make it out to Banff National Park for some photos. I will post some of the images from that day in this gallery along with a couple of my favorites of Davis. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and I hope you find yourself praying for people that you don’t know with life threatening diseases, like Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.