Cody and Jesse need help to cough. And a few other thingsWednesday, July 18, 2012 by: Connie Carello
Cody Moreau, 18, recently graduated from Superior Heights.
He aspires to one day be a recognized artist
Cody wants to go to University to further his skills.
His younger brother, Jesse, will complete his final year at Superior Heights next April.
Jesse, 17, aspires to a career in Graphic Design.
There are few things making that difficult for the boys right now.
The first is a need to cough.
Both brothers suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Their mom and dad, Rick and Cathy Moreau are getting together with some friends to host a party for the boys on Saturday night.
It's going to be a rip roaring, western-themed party at the Moose Lodge and it's an opportunity to help the boys cough, among other things like get around the house.
Cody was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of five.
His younger brother, Jesse, was diagnosed with it at the age of four.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited disorder that worsens over time as muscular tissue disintegrates.
Although there are various different types of Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne is known to be more severe and can result in death at a very young age.
Approximately 1 out of every 3,600 male infants can be affected.
Some may not experience side effects but in fact be carriers of the disorder and unintentionally pass on the disorder to their children.
Symptoms include fatigues, weakness, dysfunction in motor skills, frequent falls, and progressive difficulty walking.
By the age of 12, most patients require a wheelchair for mobility.
There is no cure for the disorder.
However, there are medications and procedures available to help prolong onset and reduce affects of symptoms.
Some of these procedures include steroids, a cough assist machine, wheelchairs, and walking braces.
“They need this machine because their disorder weakens their muscles as their lung muscles are not strong enough to clear out the mucus the builds up inside them," said their dad, Rick. "This is very dangerous and can cause pneumonia, without these machines their quality of life will be greatly reduced."
The family recently purchased a Cough Assist machine for the boys valued at $6,000.
They hope Saturday’s benefit will help cover the remainder of the cost of the Cough Assist as well as provide the means to start several new home renovations to accommodate the boys' wheelchairs.
“We are hoping to widen some door frames, replace the flooring; some of the grout from our tiles has lifted due to the weight of the wheelchairs and unfortunately we have been unable to receive funding,” Rick said.
Although the medication the boys require is paid for by the government, housing modifications and medical equipment are not.
Although travel expenses to and from Toronto have been reduced as the brothers often travel together to attend appointments, the expenses are still high.
“It's really hard," Rick said. "My wife and I had to tap into our savings more than once [and to] cash out RRSP’s to help out with the costs."
“For me,” Jesse said, “it seems really important for us to follow what the doctors have said. The advice they have given us, because so far it has worked. We are still alive today because we have been following their advice and right now, that cough machine is important because of that.”
“It affects all our strength and reduces our capability to take in air on our own," Cody said. "Our lung muscles can’t do it without the help of the machine."
Aside from their medical needs, the two boys are in good-spirits and looking forward to having a wonderful Saturday evening.
“It's a Western theme! So you can wear jeans, a cowboy hat, boots, and there will be line-dancing,” said Cody.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.
Raffle prizes include a jersey signed by Joe Mione and a Football signed by the Greenbay Packers for the cause.
If anyone individual or local business is willing to donate to the cause please phone Rick at (705) 971-0221.
Individuals can also donate by visiting this website