Joseph Hutchinson, who was eight years old in 2019 and who was originally from Bradford, West Yorkshire, but now lives with mum Katherine, dad Gareth and older sister Elizabeth in Anglesey, North Wales, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of four.
The initial indicators of things being not quite right were Joseph’s inability to get up from the floor easily, tip-toe walking and an inability to jump or run as well as had been expected.
Further to the concerns raised by Joseph’s parents, their family GP referred Joseph to see Dr Stefan Spinty, the lead Consultant at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool for blood tests and a muscle biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis.
Says Joseph’s mum Katherine,
As parents we were completely devastated by this news. Our world had completely changed and for a long time we felt numb. The hopes we had for the future had gone and we were left feeling scared and helpless.”
Joseph, who is a huge fan of everything Disney and is into swimming, music, dancing and computer games such as Minecraft and Roblox, was selected for a steroid treatment in 2017 and is also receiving a six monthly biophosphonate treatment to help with his bone strength. He also received medication for epilepsy and has been diagnosed with Autism in 2019.
The Hutchinson family were introduced to Muscular Dystrophy UK by the Regional Care Advisor at the hospital and have since been supported with information about the condition and with assistance on housing adaptations for Joseph’s needs.
They decided to get involved in raising funds to help pay for research into treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Gareth and Katherine have both already done a one-mile zipwire challenge at Zipworld in North Wales and an indoor skydive at Ifly in Manchester.
Their next challenge sees them Diving with Sharks in March 2020 at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire and they have now decided to set up their own Family Fund, Joseph’s Journey, to encourage other family members and friends to join them in supporting fundraising for treatments into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Says Josephs dad Gareth,
Raising awareness of this condition is so important but raising funds to help progress research is also vital. We hope that we can attract friends and family to join us on Joseph’s Journey. If everyone gets involved we can all make a difference together”.
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