Tommy began creating art in childhood. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. Tommy’s work has been exhibited at jazz festivals, museums and galleries throughout the country. His subjects range from the beauty and grace of ballerinas to the speed and power of horse racing. Tommy’s work also captures the essence of some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians.
Mark created this self-portrait at age 17 at an MDA-sponsored children’s art workshop held at the Tucson Museum of Art. He graduated from Sabino High School. Mark’s interests include photography and classic cars.
Carlos began painting professionally in 2007. He works part-time for the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. During his teen years, Carlos looked forward to playing baseball professionally, but weakness in his legs and pain while walking and running led to a diagnosis of BMD. As a child he enjoyed drawing, music and poetry. One of his paintings is used in the packaging of Ocumare Grand dark chocolate, produced by Amano.
MDA-supported investigators are actively pursuing several approaches to halt or reverse the muscle damage caused by Becker muscular dystrophy.
Some of the front-running strategies include: inserting new dystrophin genes; changing the way cells interpret genetic instructions for dystrophin; changing the mutated dystrophin gene itself; manipulating other proteins in the body to compensate for the lack of dystrophin; increasing blood flow to muscles; and using stem cells to repair damaged muscles.
Some studies are focused specifically on the dystrophin-deficient heart.
Thanks to general medical advances, particularly in cardiology, people with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) are living longer in the 21st century than in previous decades. As of 2011, most therapies are supportive in nature, although truly disease-modifying therapies are the subject of intense research.
MDA clinic physicians can provide referrals to specialists and therapists for these forms of care. The use of available therapies can help maintain comfort and function and prolong life expectancy.