“#MyGivingStory” – Jerry

16Dec 2021

Creatine Decoded: ACD-Funded CTD Drug Repurposing Fellowships Make Progress in Year One

Patient Samples from Coriell Biobank in Studies Seeking to Understand CTD Mutations & Explore Existing FDA-Approved Drugs as Potential Treatments

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays and interviews feature community contributors, often parents, who with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about.

Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research [email protected] Continue reading

29Nov 2021

By way of background, I am new to the CCDS community. Our 8-year-old son was diagnosed with CTD on 1 April 2021. Yes, April Fools Day, almost appropriate given the various false starts we had on the diagnosis path.

Up until that day in April, plenty of letters had been thrown our way – GDD, SPD, ID, ASD. But for me nothing really explained what was happening to our little man. It is easy to look back with hindsight and see the times we were dismissed by doctors, despite the red flags. We were close several times to maybe heading down the right path, but a doctor didn’t want to see us as a patient (our urine sample was elevated but not out of the realm of normal) or I was told we should just wait and see how he develops (only to also be told the early years are the most important for intervention, sigh). Continue reading

23Nov 2021

Hello again, CCDS family, sorry it has been a while since I have contributed to the blog, but I am thankful to have the chance to be talking to you again. As this is Epilepsy Awareness Month, I wanted to share some of my thoughts, feeling, and, most importantly, the lessons I am learning along the way. I tried to keep this blog post short but that didn’t work. I also tried to keep it honest, so I did not hold back. Continue reading

27Oct 2021

I think most parents of children with Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD), like me, are painfully aware of the statement, “CTD is not treatable.” The day of my son Cadman’s diagnosis (he’s now 6, and was diagnosed just before his second birthday through whole exome genetic testing), there was a slight sense of relief that we finally had an answer and our diagnostic journey had come to an end, but devastation to find out that there is no treatment available for his disorder. Continue reading

05Oct 2021

“Bye mom!” These were words I had longed to hear for nearly two years. Our youngest son, Sam, graduated high school in June of 2019. In October of 2019, we sold our home of 20 years in the suburbs and bought a 9-acre farm in the country. It was another step toward providing our nonprofit, Good Works Farm, a space to provide farm-based programming for individuals with special needs, like Sam. Continue reading

30Sep 2021

Creatine Decoded: The power of patient registries and patient-led research initiatives – How CCDS Families and Caregivers Can Drive Research

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays and interviews feature community contributors, often parents, who with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about.

This interview is brought to you by Kirsten Wiebe, Science Writer at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Sylvia Stockler, MD, University of British Columbia, and Sofia Balog, ACD Patient Registry Coordinator.

Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research [email protected] Continue reading

21Sep 2021

Being a parent of a child with a rare disease has its unique challenges. There are so many questions that you ask yourself on a daily basis.

Why does my child have this condition?
Why is he not developing like other kids?
Why are there no treatments available?
Why can’t I do more to help him?

These questions change all the time, but the really frustrating part is that the answers do as well. Continue reading

09Jul 2021

The bell rang, the music started, and we began moving slowly. The expression on his face changed almost immediately, and in that moment, I knew I had made a huge mistake. His horse’s face was frozen in a contorted expression of distress that matched the rider. I hopped off my horse and attempted to calm him, but as he went up and down and round and round faster, his fear only grew. He clung to me with a death grip. I managed to peel the man-child off his horse when at its lowest and sit him in the seat behind him. By then, the operator, realizing there was a problem, had brought the ride to a stop and was standing at the top of the stairs. When he saw that Sam was safely planted on the bench, he gave me a thumbs-up and started the ride again. I climbed on the nearest horse and continued to reassure him from a distance. Continue reading

17Jun 2021

This essay was written by Erin Coller, ACD Director of Communications with support from Sofia Balog, ACD Patient Registry Coordinator and Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research.

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays feature community contributors, often parents, who with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about. Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research [email protected] Continue reading

18Nov 2017

This story was shared with #MyGivingStory in connection with the Giving Tuesday initiative. #MyGivingStory shares the stories of everyday heroes giving their time and talents to the charities they love. 

I just finished my second Ironman triathlon. It’s a lot. A lot of training. A lot of swimming. A lot of bike riding. A lot of running. And oh yeah, a lot of being distracted from real life because when you’re not swimming or biking or running, you’re thinking about swimming or biking or running. Also, it costs a lot of money. And, last, but not least, it requires a lot of support (and understanding) from your family to allow you to go through the process. It’s a very selfish act, and sometimes I cannot believe they let me get away with it. I say thank you A LOT.

So, when I was thinking about doing this very selfish thing for a second time, I thought about how I could possibly make myself feel better about being so selfish. It didn’t take a lot of thinking. The solution seemed pretty simple. I would raise money for The Association for Creatine Deficiencies.

I don’t put myself out there that often, and I strongly dislike asking for help. But I wanted to get real serious about this. The wife and I put together a Crowdrise donations page where we told the story of our two with GAMT, and what it meant to us to raise money for ACD. It’s so personal, and I was a little sketchy about being so open. But this required opening up, and I think it helped me to have something to hold onto during my training as well. It was now bigger than just me, and I prefer it that way.

I launched my official campaign on Rare Disease Day, and I called it “Suffering for a Cause.” My tagline was: “If you give, I’ll suffer for it.” I shared our story and facts about CCDS with family, friends, and coworkers. The response overwhelmed me. Before I had even begun my training plan, I already had contributions starting to add up. It was so humbling, and motivating, and inspiring. I couldn’t wait to get going.

As I progressed through my training, the cause pushed me forward through all the suffering and the selfishness. I competed in a few ramp-up events, and gave some updates on the website, and each time I did, the renewed support pushed me forward even more. There was no way I would let anyone down.

When I crossed the finish line this time, it was a very different feeling from the first time. I felt the same relief of being done, the same blend of fatigue and happiness. But this time, the sense of accomplishment was so much stronger. I gave my wife a hug and cried, thinking of how lucky I am to have her support, the support of our family, and friends, and coworkers, and even a few folks I don’t even know, who gave over $8000. A lot of money, a lot of joy, a lot humbling. I say thank you A LOT.

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Disclaimer: All thoughts and ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog represent the individual blog contributor's opinions and not those of the Association for Creatine Deficiencies. The ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog, and any other locations on the creatineinfo.org website, should never be construed as medical advice, even if the information relates to actual health care experiences of the contributor. Individuals should always follow the instructions of their physician and make no changes to their care unless instructed to do so by their physician.