A 12-year-old, who lives with muscular dystrophy, is one step closer to making his farming dream a reality.
A 19-second video of John Ray, from the US, went viral [see below] on TikTok in recent days, amassing hundreds of thousands of views worldwide.
The clip, with the caption: no disabilities here, only abilities, is of John operating a track chair and implement on the family farm.
Life with muscular dystrophy
Ontario Farmer caught up with the family to discuss the novel invention.
His father, Donny, desired to build an implement to allow his son to become more active on the farm. He fashioned a metal bracket that can be attached and detached easily and works as a feed-pushing implement.
This has enabled the 12-year-old to take on a new task – feeding – over the past two months. Most recently, he helped to plant potatoes by transporting loads.
Donny, his father, explained that the investment would not have been possible without the support of his employer, Wallenstein Feed & Supply LTD.
John was born in May 2009 and was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of congenital muscular dystrophy at six-weeks-old.
His parents told the publication that “the doctors said with a lot of love, they did not expect him to live this long”.
His mother, Trina, explained that he is “doing well, so much so that he impresses his specialists to the point where they use him as an example for other patients”.
She cited his active farm lifestyle and diet as the primary reasons for his wellness.
Trina expressed the challenges – physical, financial and logistical – supporting a child with this condition brings.
According to Healthline.com, MD is a group of inherited diseases that damage and weaken muscle over time.
A lack of certain proteins required for muscle structure and mobility causes muscular dystrophy.
A lack of dystrophin, necessary for normal muscle function, causes this weakness and damage. Young boys are more likely to have the disease rather than girls.
The website states that “there is no known cure for muscular dystrophy, but certain treatments may help”.
There are more than 30 different types, with nine different categories for diagnosis.
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