Michael Dickerson, aged 42, is originally from Hoedspruit Limpopo, South Africa. Recently, Michael was participating in a series of long distance trail runs when he learned about the story of Daniël Otto, a six year old boy that was diagnosed with congenital muscular dystrophy. Michael was impressed by Daniël’s positive demeanor despite his debilitating disease, so he decided to help raise money for his treatment.
About Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Congenital muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited, progressive, degenerative muscle diseases. Two abnormal copies of a gene must be inherited in order for a patient to display symptoms, and the many different types of congenital muscular dystrophy have been linked to a variety of genetic mutations. Symptoms of these diseases are varied but always consist of muscle weakness and atrophy, which can begin in different muscle groups. Children with the disease experience delays in development, and if they do eventually learn to sit up, roll over, and walk, they eventually lose these abilities later on. Some forms can also cause intellectual disability. Management includes monitoring cardiac, digestive, and respiratory function. Therapy can help improve or maintain functionality as well. To learn more about congenital muscular dystrophy, click here.
Marina, mother of Daniël, says that he has already lost his ability to walk and stand. As a result, the boy requires frequent monitoring and medical attention, and as a result, costs have begun to mount for the Otto family. By fundraising for them, Michael hopes to relieve this burden for them. Michael is using the crowdfunding resource Backabuddy to raise the money.
The Karkloof 100
The culmination of his fundraising campaign, which initially began last July, is the Karkloof 100, a 100 mile trail run that happened on September 21st. This high intensity run is a true test of human endurance. Participants are expected to complete the race in 36 hours. In the previous year, only 25 of the 46 runners were able to finish.
The funds raised by Michael’s campaign will be used to increase Daniël’s quality of life by getting him some special equipment that will allow him to have better mobility. In addition, the funds may go towards a special operation that will lengthen Daniël’s tendons and possibly restore his walking ability. To donate to the cause, click here.