This program which is run by the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Cameroon, has as objective to create awareness on the plight of persons suffering from muscular dystrophy and other rare diseases.
Muscular Dystrophy is a term applied to a number of genetic disorders that are characterized by gradual progressive weakness and muscle fiber degeneration without neural involvement. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most significant and common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in every 3,500 live male births. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an incurable disease of childhood which progressively weakens the body over the years and takes away the sufferers ability to walk, stand, sit and even self – feed. Serious life-threatening complications may ultimately develop including disease of the heart, muscle, breathing difficulties, and mild mental retardation in some cases. Eventually the patient become totally confined to bed or wheelchair and cannot survive without a personal attendant till his premature death.
In Cameroon, very little is still unfortunately known about Muscular Dystrophy. Many families whose children are suffering from muscular dystrophy ignorantly think that the children have some sort of limbs problems that may heal over time. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The older the patient becomes, the more serious the illness becomes as his muscles continue to waste and depreciate. Since Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive disease that limits the normal life span, patients and their families indispensably require ongoing emotional support. Such type of activities gives them courage to fight against the disease and feel that there are people in the society who love them and admire their lives, struggles and talents much like normal people.