Teen uses optimism as medicine; works for muscular dystrophy cure
By Stacy Jacobsonsjacobson@abcnews4.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- For Caleb Sizemore, 16, some loads are a struggle. Caleb was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was 7.
"Sometimes it's just coming to the realization that you won't live as long. But you just have to make the best of what you've got," he said.
"He loses his muscle strength over time. It makes him weaker than most kids. Makes him, he has to take a battery of medicines," Caleb's father Richard Sizemore said.
The Academic Magnet junior is on the school crew team, but he's also part of Caleb's Cure Team.
"It's important to raise [money] because it goes to research for people who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I have a mild form of it, but a lot of people have a lot worse symptoms and they need to be cured," Caleb said.
It's a grown-up outlook for a boy who's had to grow up faster than most.
He's raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association to find a treatment, or even a cure.
"I've learned a great deal from Caleb. Caleb's one of my heroes," his father said.
"It makes me feel honored and it makes me want to help others going through Duchenne muscular dystrophy to be able to cope with it better and with other disabilities. Your outlook really has an impact on that," Caleb said.
It's that strength and his strong belief that research will find a cure. And experts said doctors were close to finding a partial cure.
"There is a drug out there they feel confident about. They think in next five years they should have treatment which is great news," Charleston MDA director Coleen Harvey said.
Still, Caleb said optimism as the best treatment.
"To see the best possible outcome in life and look on the bright side because you don't know how many days you're going to live," he said.
He's not stopping until he knows he's made a difference.
You can donate to the Charleston MDA here. The Muscle Walk will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Joe Riley Field. Admission is $10.