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Church to host fund-raiser for disease research

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

On June 5, a dinner will be held at Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church to raise money for the Facio-scapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Society.

The church is located at 20 Plantation Road, McDonough, and donations of $20 per person will be accepted at the event, which is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Patrons will enjoy live entertainment, door prizes, and a home-cooked meal.

The fund-raiser is intended as a way to raise money for research on, and treatment for, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSH), a disease that leads to a progressive loss of skeletal muscles, and causes weakness in the face, back, and upper arms, according to Nancy Van Zant, executive director of the Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Society, Inc.

In 20 percent of the cases, she said, it results in a loss of mobility. "You've probably heard of muscular dystrophy, but you may not know that FSH is the most prevalent of the nine primary types," said Van Zant. "FSH is lifelong. Thankfully, it doesn't kill people, but there's no treatment and no cure."

The idea for the fund-raiser came from Rod Fulmer, of McDonough. Since FSH is not as deadly as other types of muscular dystrophy, Fulmer believes less money is raised for its research.

"I and others in my family have FSH muscular dystrophy," said Fulmer. "Not everyone in my family has it, just a few. My grandfather, in Arkansas, had it in the 1940s, and they didn't know what it was at the time. They pulled him in a wagon, because they could not afford a wheelchair. He saved up enough money to go to the doctor in Memphis, and they told him there was not anything they could do for him."

Fulmer said his sister also has FSH Muscular Dystrophy, which he said, is genetically inherited. "This is one of the more prevalent forms," said Fulmer, who walks with the aid of ankle braces. "It affects your arms and legs, and, sometimes, your speech and face muscles."

According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the nine primary types of muscular dystrophy are: Becker, congenital, Duchenne, distal, Emery-Dreifuss, facioscapulohumeral, limb-girdle, myotonic, and oculopharyngeal.

Those interested in attending the benefit dinner are asked to RSVP to (770) 265-8324, or (770) 378-2623, by Saturday.