A life with Muscular Dystrophy I consider myself an average or so called "normal person". Not that any person is normal. I think I want what a lot of people want: such as someone to love, a successful life, to work out what this confusing thing we call "life" is all about, and most importantly, to enjoy myself. Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Jade. I am 20 years old. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I live with my amazing fiancé, Mark. I have a very supportive family: My mother, Suzette, and step dad, Steve, my father, Joe. I have 3 sisters; Ann-Marie, Stephanie, and Erika (step sister) and 3 brothers; Joel, Mathieu, and Kurtis (step brother). One of the great passions of my life is music, in any form, be it playing, singing, or listening to it. I have always been good at music ever since I could remember. Music also runs in my family. My grandmother, God rest her soul, played the violin. My mom can play the piano and guitar. My favorite instrument to play is the flute, and my favorite songs to sing are pretty much anything I CAN sing. I also enjoy listening to people play instruments. My favorites are the piano, violin, and guitar. Another of my interests in life is swimming. Whether it's going to a lake with friends or going to an aquatic center with the family. That's about it for the basics. As you can see, I like to enjoy myself, which I don't think much people spend enough time doing. I consider myself an average woman who tried to enjoy herself. For those of you who have been reading closely to me ramble on, you are probably starting to wonder if I'm going to mention anything about Muscular Dystrophy. What I wanted to illustrate in the first half of my story, is that there is much more to someone with MD than just having MD. Admittedly, it has a huge influence over my life, but I have always tried to do as much as I can, despite my disability. To many people, including my doctors, MD has always been a death sentence. At the age of 4 I was diagnosed with MD, my parents were told I would not live much past the age of 9. Well, that was 11 years ago and I'm still here fighting along and trying to have a laugh. As a matter of fact, I have a couple of jokes for you. Why did the guy with MD go to the seafood restaurant? Because he heard they were selling muscles. Gee, if it were only that easy. Why was the guy with MD drinking light beer? Because he couldn't lift heavy beer. Getting back to more serious matters, MD is anything but a worst-case scenario. I can see, hear, touch, taste, smell, and I can think clearly (although that's debatable). I have one of the greatest and most supportive families in the world, I live in one of the greatest countries in the world, and I have one of the greatest things in the world...the ability to laugh. Do not get me wrong, my life had its challenges and things for me are not getting easier. But I always try to look at the positives, not the negatives. Sometimes it is impossible to see positive in everything, but if there is one thing I have learned in my short lifetime, it's that positives can come out of the most negative circumstances. If there is something I would like everyone to get out of reading this, it is to remember that life is a gift and we must make the most of the life that we do have, even if it does have more challenges than most people. If you view everything as a learning experience, then MD is one of the greatest opportunities you can have to learn about yourself. There are a number of things that I think have been extremely beneficial in helping me get this far in my life. The first and most important thing is a positive attitude. Another is to fight for what you are entitled to. But a word of caution, make sure you choose fights wisely, don't waste energy on futile causes, like trying to lose 50lbs in 1 month. Other things that have really helped me are: 1) Take a break-get away from everything. 2) Don't be afraid to ask for and accept help. People are only too willing to help. 3) Make sure you let people know WHAT help you need. 4) Stay active. 5) last but not least, a very supportive family makes a big difference. Surround yourself with good people. MD is not an easy thing to live with, but you only get out of life what you put into it. Don't blame other people for the way things are...life is too short. Make the most of today, be kind to others, and keep smiling.