TORONTO, ONTARIO-- Sept. 1, 2010 - Keith Martin is a typical young adult in many ways: he's an avid Habs fan, and enjoys travelling and hanging out with friends. Keith is also a champion.
In 2005, at the age of 20, Keith was diagnosed with Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy (FSHD). Three years later, in 2008, Keith and four friends cycled across Canada raising over $190,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Along the way, Keith inspired a nation to turn ideas into action.
"It's been a challenge overcoming the psychological effects of not having my body perform the way I feel it should. The sports I love have become harder and everyday tasks a little more difficult. I've gotten used to it, but I always notice it, and the adjustment is tough," says Keith about his diagnosis.
It's 2010 and Keith Martin's life is full. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in the spring, and is currently working in Montreal and looking forward to travelling the world.
FSHD is just one of more than 100 neuromuscular disorders. Each form is caused by an error in a specific gene related to muscle function. The symptoms of a neuromuscular disease vary according to the condition and may be mild, moderate or life-threatening. For some the disorder is fatal at a young age. No matter what the severity, entire families are affected. There is currently no cure. It is estimated that more than 50,000 Canadians are affected by a neuromuscular disorder.