Participants in annual Muscular Dystrophy walks like the upcoming Sept. 24 event in Nanaimo often wear the gear of firefighters while walking.

Muscular Dystrophy fundraising personal for Lake Cowichan family

Any Lakers without plans this Saturday night who want to support some of their own

Any Lakers without plans this Saturday night who want to support some of their own, look no further than Beer, Burger, and Bands for Muscular Dystrophy, a fundraising event organized in part by a Lake Cowichan resident whose children were recently diagnosed with a form of the degenerative muscular condition.

Later this month, Angela Andersen will be at the 2016 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy and as part of her team’s fundraising efforts is hosting the Beer, Burger, and Bands event this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 17.

“I’m participating for my family,” she said. “My two eldest children have a form of muscular dystrophy and their father passed of muscular dystrophy.”

Andersen said she was always aware of the condition, but didn’t know anything specific about it. Mike Holman, the father of her eldest two children, died at age 27 but had never been diagnosed.

“At the time of his death, they couldn’t give us a reason as to why he would have passed away suddenly at such a young age. Now they’re indicating it was most likely muscular dystrophy, but we didn’t know about it,” she said. “So I’m walking in his honour and to raise funds for people living with muscular dystrophy.”

Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder, the most common symptoms of which include progressive muscle wasting, weakness and loss of function; poor balance; difficulty walking; and drooping eyelids. It is not exclusively a childhood disorder, and some types of muscular dystrophy do not appear until later in life.

Andersen did not learn her children, Kiana and Hayden Holman, have muscular dystrophy until last year after they underwent genetic testing. They have Type 1 myotonic dystrophy, which is characterized by muscle wasting and prolonged muscle contractions. It is the most common form of muscular dystrophy that begins in adulthood.

Andersen said it’s not always easy to talk about.

“It’s been a little up and down,” she said. “We’re pretty much just taking it as it comes, counting our blessings for what we do have and what they’re still able to do.”

She said she feels its important to spread the word about this condition however they can.

Her husband, Erik, is a musician among those performing at the event, which will be located at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay. He is the drummer for two bands — the Bratz and Stiffler’s Mom — both of which will be playing that night, along with the group Kevin’s Bacon.

“They’re all on board to raise some awareness, raise some funds, have some good food, some beers, and dance the night away,” she said. “Let’s make our muscles move for those who can’t.”

Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased at Duncan Music, or by contacting Andersen at 250-749-4605.

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