More than $18,000 was raised at the 11th Walk for Muscular Dystrophy at McKenzie Trails in Red Deer Saturday afternoon. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

WATCH: Red Deer Walk for Muscular Dystrophy raises more than $18,000

Ruby Dhatt-O’Leary was 19 years old when she learned she had Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

When she was diagnosed with the disease, she had just been accepted into a nursing program.

“I recall the doctor telling me to change programs because I would not be able to walk across the stage at graduation,” she said.

Now 36, Dhatt-O’Leary didn’t only graduate, she worked as a pediatrics nurse for 12 years.

“There’s always going to be obstacles along the way. One of the most powerful things I’ve heard in my journey is, ‘Don’t ruin a good thing by thinking about a bad yesterday.’

“It is important to have a good support system, and I could not ask for a better support group than my amazing family and friends,” she said.

Dhatt-O’Leary was the ambassador for the Red Deer Walk for Muscular Dystrophy at McKenzie Trails on Saturday afternoon.

More than $18,000 was raised at the event, which featured 75 walkers, to help provide essential medical and mobility devices for people with neuromuscular disorders.

Money raised at the event will also go toward research to find a cure.

Event co-ordinator Mark Perry said muscular dystrophy is extremely debilitating, and in many cases, fatal.

“It’s a degenerative muscle disorder. There are over 150 different kinds, each with their own set of symptoms and different diagnoses.

“The common factor is that an individual’s muscles weaken over time, which can lead to mobility issues, respiratory issues,” said Perry.

“There is no known cure for muscular dystrophy. There are some really promising treatments right now, which is why it’s important we’re gathering to increase funding for research.”

Perry said a newer drug, specifically for spinal muscular atrophy, has shown “a lot of promise.”

“But in Alberta, it’s only accessible for children and not for adults with onset muscular dystrophy. In other parts of Canada, everyone has access,” he said.

Walk participants were invited to sign a card, which will be sent to local MPs to “let them know it’s important to us that everyone has access to these drugs,” said Perry.

This is the 11th year the walk has been held in Red Deer.

“We have generations of participants now, which is really nice to see,” he said.

“Our fundraising has grown, our participation has grown, we’ve got a lot more support from local businesses over the last couple of years.”



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Ruby Dhatt-O’Leary, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was the ambassador at the 11th Walk for Muscular Dystrophy at McKenzie Trails in Red Deer Saturday afternoon. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Just Posted

No charges for Alberta officer who ran over injured deer

LETHBRIDGE — A southern Alberta police officer caught on video repeatedly running… Continue reading

Alberta wants to bring back elections for nominees to fill Senate vacancies

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government plans to bring back elections for… Continue reading

Canada extends leadership of NATO training mission in Iraq to November 2020

OTTAWA — Canada will lead a NATO training mission in Iraq until… Continue reading

Trudeau off to G20 summit, hoping for global help in disputes with China

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to a… Continue reading

With a third of 2015 MPs not running, NDP turnover highest in at least 20 years

OTTAWA — When the federal election campaign gets underway in earnest, parties… Continue reading

No charges for Alberta officer who ran over injured deer

LETHBRIDGE — A southern Alberta police officer caught on video repeatedly running… Continue reading

Alberta wants to bring back elections for nominees to fill Senate vacancies

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government plans to bring back elections for… Continue reading

Canada extends leadership of NATO training mission in Iraq to November 2020

OTTAWA — Canada will lead a NATO training mission in Iraq until… Continue reading

With a third of 2015 MPs not running, NDP turnover highest in at least 20 years

OTTAWA — When the federal election campaign gets underway in earnest, parties… Continue reading

Trudeau off to G20 summit, hoping for global help in disputes with China

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to a… Continue reading

Ontario woman nearly dies — twice — after snake bite in Thailand

Ontario woman nearly dies — twice — after snake bite Shalabha Kalliath’s… Continue reading

Goalie Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons

SUNRISE, Fla. — Florida goalie Roberto Luongo has decided to retire after… Continue reading

Europe, you’re up! Yankees top Blue Jays 8-7, head to London

Yankees 8 Blues Jays 7 NEW YORK — Buckingham Palace and Westminster… Continue reading

Most Read