RUNNING and climbing may be difficult for brothers Adam and Jay McKechnie but they just take it in their stride.
The pair, 12 and seven respectively, have both been diagnosed with Becker Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic muscle-weakening condition that is usually slowly progressive and only affects males.
Mum Angie Pearson, of Launton, near Bicester, said: “We found out first with Adam because he had some problems with walking on tip-toe and enlarged calf muscles.” He was referred to a neurologist and after a blood test Becker Muscular Dystrophy was confirmed.
A few years later younger brother Jay, who goes to Langford Village School, started to have problems climbing and suffered cramps in his legs. He too was tested and had the same condition.
Ms Pearson said: “There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. There is medication they can take in the future to help such as steroids, but at the moment they are not too bad.”
Both youngsters have regular physiotherapy to keep their leg muscles strong, but how the condition will develop is effectively a waiting game for the family.
Ms Pearson said: “They can’t tell me when that will happen, they can only go by how it’s progressing with their age.
“At the moment Jay is not having too many problems. He can’t climb as well as the other boys and if he does a lot of running about he can get tired and get cramps.
“Adam cannot run, he can climb. He can walk a way if you take it slow with him. If we do go fast walk he can’t do that.
“Sometimes Jay gets a bit upset he can’t run as fast as the other kids and with Adam because of his age, becoming a teenager, he’s self-conscious.
“Day to day they get on with things and live their lives as normal kids. You just have to overcome issues as they arise.”
Cooper School pupil Adam uses a walking stick to help him get around and also has a wheelchair for longer journeys.
The family, including dad Chris McKechnie, has pledged to help raise as much cash as possible for charity Muscular Dystrophy to help find a cure.
So when friend Karen Orme, of website development firm Orme Creative, started to organise her third annual ball and asked for nominations for a charity to support, Adam and Jay were top of the list.
Last weekend 280 revellers at Bo Peep Farm, Adderbury, near Banbury, helped to raise about £4,000 which will be split between Muscular Dystrophy and Adderbury-based Katharine House Hospice.
Mrs Orme said: “When Angie came back with Muscular Dystrophy, because of the boys, I thought lets do it for them.”