Columbus firefighters hosted the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association 5K this morning. One 14-year-old girl was a participant and a patient that won’t let the genetic muscle weakening disease slow her down.
Makyala Clows ran across the finish line in the 8th annual Columbus Firefighter Muscular Dystrophy Association 5K. Something she didn’t think she was going to do.
“It felt like good because I did it all without stopping really. But, it felt really good. I just thought about getting to the finish line,” she said.
Makayla was one of the thousands of people who were diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy last year. Its a group of diseases caused by defects in a person’s genes and over time the muscle weakness decreases mobility and makes the tasks of daily living difficult.
Makayla isn’t letting that hold her back. “It was sad but I knew I could overcome it. I felt like I was given this to start something,” Makayla said.
She and her family started a Facebook page called ‘Team Mak’ where they’ve made shirts and bracelets to raise money for gene therapy research. Gene therapy has the potential to help people with inherited disorders, in which a gene mutation causes cells to produce a defective protein or no protein at all, leading to disease symptoms.
“The bracelet says ‘Don’t exist, Live’. Just live your life how you’re supposed to and don’t worry about what other people say on how it’s going. Keep fighting because you know you can get through it.”
Makayla is now in Boston preparing to speak in front of hundreds of people as the spokesperson for a company fighting against Muscular dystrophy. She says she’s happy because she’s going place little by little.