“Because I’m Able” by Ricky Tsang

about the author:

Ricky Tsang was a pillar in our Duchenne community for years. From his website DearRicky.com, to his Facebook group We Are Dystrophin, to his first book, Ridiculous: The Mindful Nonsense of Ricky’s Brain, Ricky’s priority was helping and advocating for our community – well, that and romancing women.

Shortly before passing away in 2016, Ricky shared the manuscript for his second book with me. It was never published and we would like to share it now with our DMD community.

Because I’m Able

In every muscle, there are bundles of fibers that contribute to its makeup. Along their membrane are proteins that keep the cells working. When dystrophin, one of such proteins, is missing, you have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. 

DMD is a genetic disease that slowly weakens and deteriorates voluntary muscle strength and mass. It comes from a mutated gene on the X chromosome and affects mainly boys. Approximately 1 out of every 3,500 boys worldwide is born with this life-threatening illness. Survival past the early twenties is unco… 

Wait, what? REWIND! For the record I’m way past my 20s! Some already living into their fifties, even married with children, so there is definitely hope. My only real concern is that cute girls might think I’m contagious! 

I’ve been on a ventilator since 1999 and blessed with good health and a great immune system. I’m neither a survivor, victim, nor severely disabled. I’m living on the positive note because I’m able. 

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