Imagine a 4-year-old boy playing in a field of grass. He kicks a ball to his Mom a few feet away. Let’s fast-forward by 5 years. The same boy stands in the field, except the simple act of kicking a ball now feels impossible.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, “a group of inherited disorders that involve muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue, which get worse over time” affects 1 in 3,000 young boys (PubMedHealth). Symptoms only start showing at age 5. Muscle weakness begins with the torso and then spreads throughout the body to the arms, neck and legs — causing loss of muscle movement control.
So what can you do? Seva! Seva doesn’t have to be limited to passing out cups and plates at the Gurdwara and it shouldn’t be. TEAM SAIJ was created in an effort to finds new treatments in attempt to end DMD. Saij Singh, a gorgeous young boy with a pure heart was diagnosed with DMD at age 7. Saij’s family is joined by members of the community at large in pushing forward the mission and vision behind Team Saij.
“When I think of Saij and his amazing family, the first thing that comes to mind is strength. In the year that I have known this family, I’ve never seen any of them without a smile on their face and I’ve never had a conversation that doesn’t involve a laugh here or there. To think about what these incredible and selfless people are going through and never see a worry on their faces is evidence of how strong they are,” said Misha Chowdhary, a friend of Saij’s older sister.
I met Saij 2 years ago for the first time. He was running around my house, as energetic as any other 6-year-old. Two years later, he now drives around his elementary school in a power chair, getting “speeding tickets” in the hallways with a big smile on his face. If you look past his disability, he is just like any other little boy.
Young boys affected by DMD are struggling to reach their dreams. Many of them don’t even make it to adulthood. Let’s come together and make their dreams realities of the present. Do as much as you can, whether it be donating or raising money to fund research or raise awareness for this amazing little boy and this incredible cause.
You can –
- Spread the word by reading up on DMD and informing others
- Donate by watching our YouTube video and clicking donate on the bottom right
- Follow us on Twitter
- Make the cause trending on Twitter by adding #teamsaij to your Tweets
- “Like” our Facebook Page for updates on Team Saij
- Keep a look out for Team Saij’s official website
As we come together and hear this little boy’s story, I would like to leave you with this message from Saij’s sister:
“My brother, Saij, is funny, quirky, annoying, and the most fearless person I know. He gets his blood drawn on a regular basis, something I have a huge phobia of, and faces his challenges with optimism. He’s not afraid of failure (and will never admit that he’s ever failed at anything), and wants to be an active participant in life. He inspires me to believe that nothing is impossible. Something in my heart lights up when I see him singing at the top of his lungs to More, Yeah x3 or Give Me Everything, and dancing with his cool hand moves, and I see his carefree spirit that isn’t affected by what anyone thinks. His dream of being president one day is a regular topic of conversation in our home. He sets goals, and works towards achieving them. I don’t know where the time goes when we’re playing Wii, drawing funny faces on the driveway with chalk, or baking brownies together. Sometimes my friends are more interested in speaking to him first, than me, but I never take it personally. Saij has this unbelievable charm and energy that draws people towards him. Even when he’s having a temper tantrum and pulls my hair, pinches me, or even throws lettuce across the dinner table, I still melt when he ultimately come to me and says, ‘Sorry D, I love you- Do you forgive me?’ As you get to know Saij, and understand the kooky faces he makes, which means he likes you, you see a strong, committed, and kind person and do something great with his life. Though I am seven years older than him, he is truly my role model, and someone I wish I could be more like. I couldn’t have asked for a better brother. I love you, Saij.”