As a parent, I think it was the hardest question I've had to answer (yet): "Will I never be able to get up on a stool again without help?" Automatically my rehearsed optimism kicked into gear. "We hope that's not the case. We hope that all the doctors working on new medicines will find a cure."
My son was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. But, we dared to believe, this was a new era for the disease. Medical science had had so many recent break-throught. A cure was just around the corner. Seven years later, my son is getting a new set of wheels -- a wheelchair, that is -- for his 11th birthday. Still no cure. The studies go on, but still no real break-throughs -- at least not for my boy, who can't go trick-or-treating without his dad to lift him up the front steps to ring the doorbell. We push him to do well in school, not knowing if he will be able to hold a pencil by the time other kids his age learn to drive. Most kids learn independence as they grow. Mine gradually relinquishes every milestone he gains.
God can't help my son. But medical science can. Frighteningly, Duchenne moves faster than new drugs become available. If you have it in your power, if there is anything you can do to speed the process, to make hope and faith mean more than empty words, please, please do so. For me, for my son, the time is now. Down the road is too far for him to walk. His chance is here and now. Let it be true that the doctors can help. Let it be true that a stepstool will be only the beginning of the heights he will yet achieve.