BELLSHILL toddler Kyle Keeney will be in a wheelchair before he reaches high school age, but on Saturday, April 20, will put his best foot forward to raise money for research into the disease that will rob him of his mobility.
The three-year-old from New View Drive was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in January, a condition that affects just one in 3,000 males.
To look at him now you would never know that between the ages of nine or 10 Kyle will lose the use of his legs as muscle wastage attacks his body.
His arms will also be affected as will his heart and lungs meaning by the time he is in his 20s he will need regular use of a ventilator.
His mum Jenna Glass said: “It was a real shock when Kyle was diagnosed as there is no one in my family or his dad Kevin’s family who’ve got it.
“It came out of the blue in January and it was only discovered after a random blood test.
“He was having problems with his balance, and had grommets fitted last June which we thought would sort it out, but obviously it didn’t.
“If anything we thought maybe he was going to end up with a hearing aid, as we were thinking it must be an inner ear problem, we just never expected anything like this.
“The older he gets the worse it gets and while he is taking steroids which should hold it back for maybe two years, by the age of 10 we expect he will be in a chair unless they can find a cure before then.”
At the moment there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but Jenna hopes that with enough fundraising the next few years may see advances in science.
Jenna said: “He’ll start losing his legs and be in the chair, then his arms and then it will start to affect his heart, his lungs and kidneys, it just hits every part of the body.
“He looks great just now, you’d never know what the future holds, and while the steroids hold it back for a while we can only hope that over the next few years that maybe medicine will be found.
“At present we expect he will need a ventilator by the time he is in his late 20s, but with advances in research maybe it won’t come to that and are doing all we can to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.”
To raise funds dad Kevin is planning to run a marathon and on Saturday over 250 people will gather at Strathclyde Park to ‘Walk a Mile for Kyle’.
The event is the brainchild of Louise McWilliams at Bumble Bee Nursery, which Kyle attends, who admits to being stunned by the response.
She said: “We wanted to do something for Kyle and had initially thought it would just be amongst our children.
“But when we spoke to Natalie Macaulay from Muscular Dystrophy Campaign she suggested we did it with them and with her help it has got much bigger.
“I think all in we have 80 of our children coming with their families, and lots of other people associated with the muscular dystrophy charity so should have 250-300 taking part.
“We’re overwhelmed, it’s the first time we’ve done something like this and while we knew we could rely on the nursery ‘family’, the response from the community has been amazing.
“Lots of people are asking if they can walk with us and local shops have been donating raffle prizes, we’re over the moon.”
A Mile for Kyle starts at the Watersports Centre at 1.30pm and anyone wishing to take part is welcome to go along.
Natalie Macauley said: “We are asking for everyone involved with the charity to come along and not only show this family your support but to join together and walk a mile for Kyle and every boy, man and family who are living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“Come long and lets stand together united in the fight against Duchenne.
“If you are interested in taking part or want any further information please do not hesitate to contact me on 01355 243211.”