It wasn’t long after Hannah and Mark Corman’s son Austin was born that they knew something just wasn’t right.
The Houston couple took him to the hospital at the age of five months, hoping for answers.
“I think we went to the hospital thinking we’ll figure things out and then we’ll come home and everything will be back to normal,” Hannah said.
But what doctors discovered weeks later was anything but normal.
“They said they had found this DNA mutation, which neither Mark nor I have, but it leads to this severe form of muscular dystrophy called L-CMD,” Hannah said.
“That just basically leads to muscle weakness and eventually that muscle weakness is in the heart and affects the breathing,” Mark said.
Although Austin is a happy, curious child, he has been physically limited and eats through a feeding tube.
“Austin has never sat up, can’t hold his head up, can’t putsh up, can’t crawl, can’t walk,” Hannah said.
There is currently no treatment for L-CMD and because there are only about 200 known cases of it in the world, a cure is simply not a medical priority.
For the Cormans, it’s not only a priority, but a matter of life and death.
They’ve set a goal to raise $2,000,000 by Austin’s second birthday next month to help fund the creation of a gene therapy.
“Ultimately we’re hopeful that it will prolong the life for these children and buy them some time until maybe a true cure can be found,” Hannah said.
The Cormans have raised more than $1,000.000 so far and a golf outing next month at Manada Golf Club in Grantville aims to boost that total. Mark graduated from Central Dauphin High School in 1996 and the event is being organized by his former classmates.
“There’s been a ton of support from people in Pennsylvania,” he said. “It helps in a time like this, without a doubt.”
“We’re just grateful to everybody for the support that we’ve had so far.”
If you are interested in learning more about the golf outing, you can click here.
To learn more about Austin and his condition, click here.
A fundraiser will also be held at Ted’s Bar & Grill in Midtown Harrisburg on Tuesday, July 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. Ten percent of the sales will be donated to “Friends of Austin” benefitting the L-CMD Research Foundation.