Four years ago, when Jackson was only 5, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a fatal neuromuscular disease. Affecting mostly boys, the disease slowly destroys muscle fibers in every part of the body, including the heart. DMD eventually steals a child’s ability to walk, run and breathe. Twenty years ago, most children with DMD would die of heart failure in their teens or early twenties. That changed when Dr. Jerry Mendell of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, working with other clinician scientists, proved that steroid therapy could significantly slow the disease’s progression. The treatment ultimately became the standard of care worldwide, extending the lives of thousands of children.
At Nationwide Children's Hospital we provide premier multi-disciplinary care for our patients like Jackson and we are determined to find a cure so that one day “muscular dystrophy’ will be a disease only found in history books. The National Institutes of Health has designated Nationwide Children’s as a Paul. D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center, which helps enable our researchers to continue their work to find a cure.
“Nationwide Children's is a world leader in breakthrough therapies to treat Duchenne,” says Jackson’s mom, Kelly. “We consider ourselves very lucky to live in Columbus where our son has access to the best care possible. The neuromuscular clinical staff is so committed to ending this devastating disease, and I truly believe they will. Nationwide Childrens gives us hope that we may be able to change our son's future from one of certain death to one of survival. Nationwide Childrens truly is the only ray of hope we, or many families around the world, have of beating Duchenne's odds.”
Today, nine-year-old Jackson loves sports even though his diagnosis prevents him from participating in mainstream sports. He likes to play Xbox One and has an impressive Lego collection and joined a Lego Robotics club at school. Jackson plans to grow up to be a policeman.
Teams paired with Jackson:
- Hilliard Davidson
- Walsh Jesuit
- Westerville Central
- Westerville North