Swimming therapy helps muscular dystrophy patients

A quarter of a million kids and adults live with muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that weakens the muscles, making it hard to move.

But a therapy offered by St. Joseph Regional Medical Center is helping kids "get in the swim."

9-year-old Marcus Mcghee is a great little swimmer.

But he does not swim in this Mishawaka pool because of the heat.
Because, as he puts it, "I have a disease that helps me get stronger."

Marcus takes a dip like this once a week for his aquatic therapy through St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.

Marcus's mother Ame says aquatic therapy helps Marcus and she does not ever want her son to feel like a fish out of water.

"He's very active, he's a goofball. Just a normal 9 year old boy who just happens to have a disability. But I don't treat him any differently, he's just a normal nine year old to me," said Ame.

Nancy Rupe-Cressy has been working in the pool with Marcus for two years.

She says aquatic therapy is a big help for kids with muscular dystrophy.

"It takes the weight off the body. It gives them a lot more freedom of movement, so someone like Marcus can do a lot of things in the water for longer periods," she explained.

And for Marcus, it doesn't feel like therapy, but there are some things he likes better than others.

"Playing with the volleyball or playing basketball," Marcus explains excitedly.

And while Marcus cannot change the fact that he has muscular dystrophy, this goodwill ambassador for kids with MD in northern Indiana is going to keep paddling.
And as Goodwill Ambassador, Marcus will be taking part in the big muscular dystrophy telethon taking place the weekend of August 30th.

Some of the money raised sends kids, like Marcus, to camp every summer.

A camp where he gets to be with kids just like him.

If you would like more information on St. Joseph's aquatic therapy, or the telethon, look right here on WNDU.com

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