September 11, 2016
A Vadivelu impersonator and car-race were part of the fun and entertainment that greeted the 29 wheelchair-bound boys suffering from the deadly and incurable Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), who participated in the World Duchenne Awareness Day celebrations at the Coimbatore-based Molecular Diagnostics Counselling Care and Research Centre (MDCRC) recently.
In her address to the parents, 21-year-old Sri Priya, an Erode-based entrepreneur and a victim of a neurological condition, said, “Children are gifts of God. As parents, we must accept our children as they are. Every child is talented. We must identify what our child is good at, encourage and motivate our child to do well. All children like to go out and meet people. Never mind if your child is dependent on you to move around. Take the child out. You must send your kid to school too so that they can get exposed to the world.”
Dr. Lakshmi, founder of MDCRC, added, “Children with DMD find it difficult to manage in school as they find it difficult to carry out routine activities independently. We, at MDCRC, have plans of opening up a special school for these children. If everything works out well, children with DMD too will go to school.”
Bringing cheers and laughter to the celebrations was Coimbatore-based artiste, Madhavan R, who impersonated movie actor Vadivelu. He danced on and off the stage, and the kids cheered and applauded him.
However, it was the car race competition that stole the show. A special car race track was placed at the centre of the lawn. Actor, motivational speaker and consultant Raja Krishnamoorthy, better known as Kitty, flagged off the car race. He was one of the special invitees for the celebration.
Three cars at a time were allowed to race on the track. Each car was named after a participant. At the end, a tie-breaker decided the winner. Samuel emerged victorious, followed by Jai Saravanan and Soundarajan who finished second and third respectively.
The children also released helium inflated balloons carrying awareness messages about the disease.
All over the world, since 2014, September 7 is celebrated as Duchenne Awareness Day. Duchenne Parent Organization and foundations around the world organize activities in order to raise awareness about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), and improve the lives of its victims. DMD is a genetic neuromuscular disorder that predominantly affects boys. The patients progressively lose their physical functions, including their breathing capabilities, before they die of respiratory problems or heart failure.
Founded in 2006, Coimbatore-based Molecular Diagnostics Counselling Care and Research Centre (MDCRC) is involved in helping parents and children suffering from DMD.