Like many mothers of boys with muscular dystrophy, Deborah Hall hasn’t had an easy life.
Hall, the daughter of a chemical engineer and a stay-at-home mom, was one of six siblings growing up in Boaz, West Virginia. When her younger brother, John, was 3 years old, doctors diagnosed him with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Twenty-five years later, he died.
Hall herself was tested at the age of 7 and found to be a carrier. Nevertheless, she and her now-deceased partner had a son, Michael, who was diagnosed with Duchenne in August 2006 — only two months after birth.
“My father had told me there was a chance I could have a child like this,” Hall said. “At the time, Michael was the youngest boy in the country who tested positive. It turned out he had the same deletions of exons — 3 through 21 — that my brother had.”
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