PALMYRA’S Sarah Kerr was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when she was just eight years old.
But the condition, which progressively weakens muscle tissue, hasn’t stopped her living life to the max and the 31-year-old now works as a full-time lawyer.
Kerr has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy and sadly found out she had the condition not long after her 12-year-old brother was diagnosed with MD.
“Muscular dystrophy has been challenging at times and I use a combination of manual and electric wheelchairs to mobilise while out of the house,” Kerr says.
“LGMD is progressive and over time my need for supports has increased and will continue to do so.
“Muscular Dystrophy WA has opened up a community to network with people in similar situations and has assisted me accessing the support I need.”
On Thursday (September 15) several landmarks across WA including the Fremantle Prison gatehouse will light-up green to raise awareness of the condition and help raise funds to find a cure.
“For rare conditions like muscular dystrophy it’s crucial that we raise awareness to reduce misdiagnosis, find treatments, enhance the quality of life for those with the condition and advocate for their rights,” says Muscular Dystrophy WA CEO Hayley Lethlean.
“As there is no cure, our work is vital.”
More than 40,000 Australians have the genetic condition which can impact their ability to walk, lift, speak and breathe, with most needing a wheelchair and full-time care.
With more than 75 types of muscular dystrophy, the severity of muscle deterioration and function varies, making treatment difficult.
WA Landmarks will be lit-up green on Myotonic Dystrophy Awareness Day.
Myotonic Dystrophy is the most common form of adult MD causing muscle weakness and myotonia (difficulty relaxing a tightened muscle) and affects many organs including the heart, uterus, stomach, brain and colon.
To find out more or to donate go to mdwa.org.au