CMT: So Much More Than Hands and Feet!

Yohan gets Rylee’s mind off her knee pain.

 

“What’s up with the knee brace?” I asked 12-year-old Rylee, who was visiting from Pennsylvania for a couple of days. Head down, in a whisper, she told me, “My knee keeps popping out of joint. It hurts really bad when that happens. ” Just the thought of having my patella on the side of my leg for any extended amount of time makes me cringe. Yuk!

 

I will not stand for this. Will you?

Helping Yo with his drops!

“Ugh. Can you put these drops in my eyes?” Yohan groaned. He had just had eye surgery and needed drops every hour, on the hour. I almost said, “Buddy, you can do that yourself.”  And then I remembered his tremor and weak grip strength.  “I tried,” he grimaced, with water streaming off his cheeks, “but I missed!”

I will not stand for this. Will you?

Bethany and Elizabeth

I dread the thought of Bethany coming down with a cold because coughing takes energy and congestion robs her of the precious air needed to breathe effectively. Did you know that CMT can affect the nerves leading to the respiratory muscles? For some with CMT, the thoughtless act of breathing freely becomes a forced, challenging and anxiety-provoking undertaking, which may necessitate frequent visits to the ER. Not fun. Not fun at all.

I will not stand for this. Will you?

So, you see, CMT is much more than a funky way of walking, foot drop, high arches, and leg braces. CMT may also causes cramps, falls, balance difficulties, cold extremities, nerve, muscle and joint pain, curled hands and toes, altered reflexes, extreme fatigue, sleep apnea, hearing loss, etc.  In short, CMT is a bitch!

I will not stand for this. Will you?

The most amazing thing about CMT is that we can fight it. Unlike many diseases, the genes that cause many types of CMT are known. The CMTA’s scientists are working tirelessly to stop or slow down the progression of CMT, and they are making headway. We’ve accomplished so much since 2008:

 

Highlights

• Clinical planning has started. Working together with the NIH and the MDA, we are developing our clinical infrastructure: new centers, more clinicians, patient information and history over time.
• We are developing ways to measure disease progression in people with CMT.
• We are starting to use cellular and animal models of CMT to help pharmaceutical companies test their drugs quickly.
• We are partnering with pharmaceutical companies and labs to apply breakthrough genetic therapies (like gene therapy, RNAi, CRISPR) to CMT.
• We will continue to expand our program to cover more forms of CMT.

Join me to raise the funds to bring a drug to market and rid the world of CMT. Big goal? Well, maybe, but why not dream big? We’ve got to start somewhere.

WE will not stand for this.

Imagine what we can do TOGETHER! Did you know funds are what stand in the way between us and a treatment for CMT? Not scientific understanding. Not resources. Not clinics. Not patients. MONEY. I certainly don’t have all the money needed to bring a drug to market, but with your help and the help of others, the money can be raised to support scientific research. It’s doable.

Chris Ouellette-The organizer of the Cycle 4 CMT

Want to help? Our family has put all its efforts into Vermont’s Cycle (And Walk!) 4 CMT event and thanks to friends and family like you, we’ve raised close to $650,000 over the past 4 years. That’s not chump change, friends.

We are now preparing for the 5th Annual Cycle (and Walk!) 4 CMT event, to be held in Charlotte, VT on Sunday, August 26. Every dollar counts. Any donation is valued. Spread the word.

To join our efforts to build a better tomorrow, check out our website: www.cycle4cmt.com and donate a little or a lot.

 

Here is how to start changing lives:

1) Register for the Cycle (and Walk!) event and/or,
2) Fundraise! Tell others why this cause is important to you and/or,
3) Spread the word and register a friend and/or
4) Sponsor a rider, a walker or the event itself and/or
5) Sign up for the after-party.

Thank you for offering a promising future to Yohan, Rylee, Bethany and the 2.8 million + people around the world with this debilitating disease.

Never Give up or Give In. Just GIVE!

 

3 thoughts on “CMT: So Much More Than Hands and Feet!

  1. Thanks Elizabeth!! Thanks for fighting for all of us! Thanks for writing so well! Thanks for being so committed to the CMTA! And mostly thanks for being my friend!! Love you lady!!

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    1. Thank. You Elizabeth , My CMT started at age tour with foot drop and hand problems. I did the AFOs and better hand grips for 20 years and thought I was done. But now at age 80 I have breathing problems tied to CMT. Also 3 members of my CMT branches have died from “complications from CMT. So yes Elizabeth CMT is much more than hands and feet. Roy Behlke

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