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Ballou Family takes on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Imagine being fitted for a wheelchair by age 12…

Imagine being told you may not survive beyond your mid-twenties…

This is too often the reality for young men like 24-year old Ryan Ballou, who was diagnosed more than 20 years ago with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) – a devastating disease that causes muscle breakdown and heart failure in boys and young men.

But thanks to Ryan’s indomitable spirit, and researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, we are on the cusp of imagining a new future for DMD patients.

For more than 20 years, Ryan and his dad have traveled from Pittsburgh to Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center to for treatment by neurologist Dr. John Kissel. Five years ago, Dr. Kissel referred Ryan to Ohio State’s Heart and Vascular Center, where a team of physician and researchers are collaborating on a revolutionary drug treatment for DMD that shows potential for delaying heart failure. Since Ryan started taking the medication more than five years ago, there has been no additional deterioration of his heart muscle. “I’ve been ahead of the curve” Ryan said, “I walk longer than most people and I still have a lot of strength in my arms.” Ryan's success holds promise for thousands of men and their families affected by DMD.

Please support Ohio State's research on life-changing treatment options for this debilitating disease and so many others. Your gift offers hope to patients like Ryan who look forward to active lives far beyond their mid-twenties.

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