On a roll to cure childhood muscular dystrophy

Despite suffering from a form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne, Nathan Rothe still competes in a variety of sports and has decided to do something to raise awareness about his illness this very month.

The Highland Village youngster is at the center of the first annual Bowling to Cure Duchenne event, which will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Lewisville Lanes Bowling Alley, 1398 W. Main Street in Lewisville.

Nathan’s mother, Jessica Rothe, said her son wanted to have the event for a couple of reasons.

“My son was wanting to have some kind of an activity that he can do with his friends,” Jessica said. “A lot of times they do running and climbing and things he can’t do. With bowling, he can have a real light ball and be able to bowl with everybody.”

Duchenne is the most common form of childhood muscular dystrophy, affecting about 1 in 3,500 newborns – mostly boys – worldwide. It is a progressive muscle disorder that usually becomes apparent in early childhood when it begins to cause the loss of muscle function, wheelchair dependency, and declines in respiratory and cardiac functions.

Rothe said her son has a passion for sports and said that is one of the things that makes his condition so difficult for him to handle.

“He absolutely loves baseball,” Rothe said. “He is a huge Rangers fan. He watched 150 games last year, and he likes to watch football and basketball as well. He is a sports enthusiast.

“It makes it very hard, because he cannot play these sports, having muscular dystrophy. But, we participate in Miracle League, and he does baseball, bowling and now they have a basketball league.”

Cadillac is sponsoring the event, and is bringing a list of 14 celebrities, including Rocket Ishmael, Drew Pearson, Nate Newton, Larry Brown, Jose Guzman, Carly Patterson, and others.

Rothe said that while Nathan is aware of his condition, his spirits remain high.

“He knows that he will be in a wheelchair within the next five years if they don’t find a treatment,” Rothe said. “But, we’re very hopeful. The first FDA drug should be approved this year for Duchenne, so there is a lot of reason to be optimistic.

“We try to keep it positive, and even though Duchenne is a very dark place, we see a light shining through.”

The goal for this year’s event is to raise $25,000 to $30,000, and Rothe said she has already raised $20,000.

Rothe said that there are four or five lanes still available to bowl, and everyone is welcome to come.

Donations and registration for the event can be made by clicking here.


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