What’s up guys, my name is Ricky Khan, Aka Wheelz, and I am your 2018 Peel Region Walk4MD Ambassador!. I am 1 of 3 captains of Team WHEELZ. I am 20 years old, living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and I was diagnosed at the age of 3. It was a complete shocker to my parents, the only thing they knew about DMD was that on labor day weekends, Jerry Lewis held MDA Telethons every year and that my grandparents had donated.
Now learning that I had this disease, I can say that I had many ups and downs, but who can tell me that they haven’t had many of those? Amen! At the age of 13 I developed scoliosis, which made life and sleep patterns difficult due to severe pain in my ribs and lower back. At the age of 16 I had to have spinal fusion surgery at SickKids. I had two rods put in my spine to straighten it, due to the spine almost puncturing my heart. (Yes, it was a very painful healing process indeed!) but how much you know at that moment morphine was my best friend & pressing that button was a huge relief!. The food was great, so great in fact I gobbled it all up before my mom could get any. (Sorry, mom!) Speaking of my mom, she was with me at the hospital all those painful months dealing with my constant twist and turns & squeals of pains! I would like to thank God for such a wonderful mom & dad, of course!
At the age 19, I had developed aspiration pneumonia which left me hospitalized for 1 agonizing month and during those 30 days I was struggling with my breathing and constant coughing which lead to me wanting to give up on life until my uncle’s mother who passed away came to me in a dream and told me to never give up and to start praying to God. When I woke up, I did what the dream told me to do, asking and begging for God to heal me from my pneumonia. The doctor came to me later that day telling me that the pneumonia was still there and it would take a few weeks to go away. I broke down in tears and started blaming God, asking him why he didn’t answer my prayers and then I froze and remembered my dream. After apologizing I went back to praying right until I fell asleep (which was the most peaceful sleep I ever had). The next day I woke up and the doctor looked at me with a shocked but yet puzzled look saying “ your pneumonia is gone, you can go home in a few days we just need to do a few more tests” and I started crying tears of joy!
My parents & I walked for Jesse’s Journey in London, Ontario when I was much younger, and had a blast. I raised some money and was introduced to John Davidson the man who pushed his son across Canada in his wheelchair. We then went on to a more local event which is how I became involved with Walk4MD. The reason why I became involved was because I have Muscular Dystrophy! And I enjoy meeting others with similar circumstances and doing anything for a good cause!
I think it is highly important that people attend the walk for muscular dystrophy because it definitely raises awareness of the disease and a better understanding of what it is. In addition to that the event has great food, snacks & a 5km walk (I mean who doesn’t love long walks?) for a great cause!
My parents and immediate family have been doing some exceptional promotions of the walk such as: constantly posting on social media & telling many of their coworkers & friends about the walk & how to donate! I have been telling my close friends and fellow classmates and sharing the event on Snapchat and Instagram as well.
My favorite part about the walk is definitely the social aspect of it because I get to meet many people going through similar situations as I have. I get to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather and eat some great food and have some laughs with some new faces with friendly demeanours!
I would like to encourage first-time participants to be themselves, keep a positive attitude & not to be afraid for we are all here for the same cause!
One more thing, I would like to thank Jesus for loving and being here for me even before I was born. I would like to thank my parents and immediate family for loving me and caring for me and my church family at Destiny and Dominion Word Ministries for making me realize that I am loved by many and I shouldn’t be worried for God is able to cure any disease! Come out on June 2nd and walk with us!