Ontario father cycling across province for four-year-old son's fatal condition
By Adam Miller, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, June 21, 2015 3:15PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 22, 2015 11:12AM EDT
OTTAWA -- An Ontario man is spending Father's Day on a bicycle to raise money to find a cure for a fatal condition that his four-year-old son suffers from.
Andrew Sedmihradsky's son Max has been diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and he decided to embark on a 600 km cycling journey from Parliament Hill to Hamilton.
"You can't sleep because your thoughts are just running away from you and it's just like you're in the middle of a nightmare and I just thought 'Ok, no matter what you're going to fight this,"' he told The Canadian Press during a break from his trip.
Sedmihradsky said DMD is a progressive genetic disorder that gradually weakens the body's muscles and can leave boys in a wheelchair by the time they are 12-years-old, with a life expectancy in the mid-20s.
As tough as the diagnosis is on the family, Sedmihradsky said he was raised to always try his best and hopes that message will be passed on to his son.
"It's a distraction as well -- pouring my energy into something like this means I'm not sitting around dreading and thinking about the future -- I'm thinking about how we can maybe change the future for not just Max, but other boys like him," he said.
"For the moment I think I'm winning as a father because he gets to stop at all of these parks and eat ice cream along the way ... and hopefully he'll look back and think that we did everything we could for him. And hopefully we did everything we could for him and we had a positive outcome.
Sedmihradsky said one in every 3,500 boys born around the world suffers from DMD, and he hopes with enough awareness through his and similar campaigns for the condition, more can be done to find a cure.
"Maybe this inspires other people to do other things, than maybe we can make a difference in the lives of boys like Max," he said.
Sedmihradsky said he's grateful for the outpouring of support from communities across the province, adding all of the money raised will be put towards DMD research with none of it funding the trip.
"It's just crazy. I keep coming back to that word because starting this I didn't really know what to expect," he said.
"I'm just incredibly grateful for all of the support we've been shown so far."
Sedmihradsky said he and Max are to finish the ride at Canada Day festivities at Bayfront Park in Hamilton on July 1.