Finding Hope From Diagnosis to Action – LMNA Related Congenital Muscular Dystrophy – Hannah Lowe
ONCE UPON A GENE – EPISODE 108
Finding Hope: From Diagnosis to Action – LMNA Related Congenital Muscular Dystrophy – Hannah Lowe
Hannah Lowe is the President and Co-Founder of the L-CMD Research Foundation. Her son Austin has a rare form of muscular dystrophy (L-CMD) caused by a genetic mutation and she’s urgently working to find a cure for her son and other kids like him.
Can you tell us about your children?
I have two sons— Ean who is four and Austin who is two. Last year, Austin was diagnosed with a rare disease resulting from a randomly occurring genetic mutation. He was about 6 months old when he was diagnosed. Austin wasn’t gaining weight, so after 6 months he was admitted to the hospital to get a feeding tube to aid in nutrition. He was in the hospital for three weeks while they ran a series of tests to find the underlying cause of his low weight. Every test came back clear until the genetic tests came back. That’s when it was discovered that Austin has a single point mutation on the LMNA gene which results in L-CMD, which is a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
What did you do after you got Austin’s diagnosis?
After getting a new routine worked out, we turned our attention to figuring out what we can do. We started making connections, talking to everyone and gathering information. L-CMD has a fair amount of research happening for the gene itself because genetic mutations of the gene cause about 12 other diseases. Through networking, we connected with a group of other rare disease families working on treatments and cures for their own rare diseases. With some helpful connections, we took baby steps to start a nonprofit.
What roadblocks have you hit and what would you do differently?
The biggest roadblock is expectation versus reality. When we first started, researchers told us the pace of research is slower than the progression of the disease. We didn’t accept that, but it has been a big mindset shift to know this is in fact the case.
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