Top News

Rotary provides iPad for teen with rare disease


NEW GLASGOW – A donation from the New Glasgow Rotary Club will help a Trenton teen with a rare disease do his schoolwork.

Daniel Arsenault of Trenton received an iPad from the New Glasgow Rotary Club on Monday. The Grade 9 student at North Nova Education Centre has a rare form of muscular dystrophy and the technology will help him with completing schoolwork. Daniel is shown with Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn and Rotary Club representative Simon Lawand. Carol Dunn – The News

Daniel Arsenault, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, received an iPad from the club on Monday.

“It’ll help him immensely,” said his mother Lynn.

She explained that because of his condition, the Grade 9 North Nova Education Centre student has difficulty with writing and the iPad will assist with that.

“We were told that he would never be able to hold a pencil,” she said, adding that he writes, but it’s difficult for him.

“He has a muscle-wasting disorder, so he has a hard time keeping up in school – with writing – and this will give him some more freedom and independence in school.”

She said apps are available as well that will aid him with taking notes.

Simon Lawand of the Rotary Club presented Daniel with the iPad on Monday, and he and his family were extremely grateful for the organization’s generosity.

“He always tries to find the good and positive in things. He never complains about anything even though he’s got every right to be a cranky person. This will cause a lot of happiness for him. We’re pretty happy about it,” said Lynn.

“It will help me learn things I never did before,” said Daniel, who uses a wheelchair to get around.

MLA Pat Dunn helped arrange the donation and said he has known Daniel for several years. “He is such a pleasant individual – always smiling, with a good attitude and very positive. This will really help him to do some of his work at school and at home. It’s a great learning aid for him.”

 

 

SIDEBAR:

 

What is Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. It is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy.

DMD is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. Symptom onset is in early childhood, usually between ages three and five. The disease primarily affects boys, but in rare cases it can affect girls.

 

What are the symptoms of DMD?

Muscle weakness can begin as early as age three, first affecting the muscles of the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders, and later the skeletal (voluntary) muscles in the arms, legs and trunk. The calves often are enlarged. By the early teens, the heart and respiratory muscles also are affected.

 

What causes DMD?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy was first described by the French neurologist Guillaume Benjamin Amand Duchenne in the 1860s, but until the 1980s, little was known about the cause of any kind of muscular dystrophy. In 1986, MDA-supported researchers identified a particular gene on the X chromosome that, when flawed (mutated), leads to DMD. In 1987, the protein associated with this gene was identified and named dystrophin. Lack of the dystrophin protein in muscle cells causes them to be fragile and easily damaged.

SOURCE: The Muscular Dystrophy Association

Recent Stories