Max and his dad get ready for another bike ride of hope

Pair rais­ing money for Duchenne mus­cu­lar dis­tro­phy re­search

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - DE­BRA DOWNEY

Max Sed­mihrad­sky is “hold­ing sta­ble” while some promis­ing re­search into a cure for Duchenne mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy gets un­der­way at the Univer­sity of Toronto Mis­sis­sauga.

Max, a six-year-old Grade 1 stu­dent and big brother to tod­dler Isla, was di­ag­nosed with the pro­gres­sive dis­or­der three years ago. It af­fects roughly one in 3,500 boys, and most chil­dren who suf­fer from it are un­likely to live past the age of 30.

“We haven’t seen any rapid de­te­ri­o­ra­tion,” said Max’s dad, An­drew. “Max is hold­ing sta­ble. He doesn’t seem to be get­ting any weaker, which is what you want to see, bar­ring a cure.”

For the third con­sec­u­tive year, Max and An­drew will travel 600 kilo­me­tres on a cargo bike to raise funds and aware­ness for Duchenne mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy.

Max’s Big Ride starts in Hamil­ton on June 4 and ends with a re­cep­tion on Par­lia­ment Hill in Ot­tawa at noon on June 12.

The pro­ceeds from this year’s ride will go to­ward es­tab­lish­ing a doc­toral fel­low­ship in hopes of find­ing ways to pre­vent the mus­cle at­ro­phy that char­ac­ter­izes the dis­ease and re­verse dam­age so those con­fined to a wheel­chair can re­gain mo­bil­ity.

In­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized Dr. Pa­trick Gun­ning and his team will con­duct the re­search at the Univer­sity of Toronto Mis­sis­sauga, where Sed­mihrad­sky works.

“There are peo­ple in this very build­ing who have the power to change Max’s life. It’s un­be­liev­able,” Sed­mihrad­sky said.

New to this year’s fundraiser is an Ice Cream Ride: Cy­clists who join the Sed­mihrad­skys on the first few kilo­me­tres of their trek will be re­warded with frozen treats and a tasty lunch.

In con­junc­tion with Max’s Big

Ride, Max’s Big Climb is also planned for later this sum­mer. Cy­clists can test their mettle against the iconic Sy­den­ham Hill in Dun­das.

The 2017 edi­tion on July 15 will have four el­e­ments — an in­di­vid­ual time trial, the King and Queen of the Moun­tain con­test, the hour­long Horse Kill Hill team re­lay and an un­timed Hill Chal­lenge ride.

HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR FILE PHOTO

Flashback to July 2015: An­drew Sed­mihrad­sky rides through a fin­ish-line rib­bon as he ar­rives in Bayfront Park with son Max in front of their spe­cial bike. Sed­mihrad­sky rode from Par­lia­ment Hill to Hamil­ton with Max, who has Duchenne mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy.

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