Pediatric clinic acts as 1-stop shop for Muscular Dystrophy

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - A local pediatric clinic has several doctors specializing in Muscular Dystrophy, making appointments with several doctors all in one day.

Wesley Blomquist, 16, of Pasadena was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy when he was 9 years old.

His mom, Marcelle, said, "Mainly, he wasn't growing. He was at 7 years old (and) he was the size of a 5-year-old."

The genetic disorder leads to progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. Wesley's been in a wheelchair since he was 11.

Wesley said, "It's really hard, but you have to stay positive and that's what I do. I stay positive all the time."

Wesley sees about four or five doctors every six months or so and fortunately, they're all under one roof at the Blue Bird Circle MDA Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital.

Marcelle said, "All the doctors are in one location and they try to make all your appointments together so all your doctors are at one time, so you only have to make one trip."

Neuromuscular diseases are complex and intertwined, so doctors say a multidisciplinary approach makes for the best patient care.

Dr. Tim Lotze, TCH pediatric neurologist and chief of the Blue Bird Circle MDA Clinic, explained, "So many of these children and families who are living with a neuromuscular condition not only have problems in terms of neurological function, their ability to get about, their mobility, they also can have problems in terms of their lung function, their heart function."

During his visit, Wesley learned he's developed a heart condition called cardiomyopathy, which is a result of Duchenne.

TCH cardiologist Dr. Hugh Allen told Local 2, "The heart is a muscle. Duchenne's affects the skeletal muscle. It affects the heart muscle. It affects the breathing muscle."

Thanks to medical advances and research funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Show of Strength," kids like Wesley are living longer.

Wesley said, "Their donations keep us happy."

KPRC Local 2 is proud to partner with MDA for the Annual Labor Day "Show of Strength."

The event raises critical dollars to support local families and fund research to find a cure.

Lotze said, "We don't have a cure yet, but one of the most important missions, I think, as doctors and other caregivers is to really improve the quality of life for these patients."

Allen added, "This disease is rotten and it has to be defeated."

Your generosity also helps send children like Wesley to MDA summer camp where they can just enjoy being kids.

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