(Memphis) When you first set foot into eight-year-old Dalton Al-Chokhachi’s bedroom in Cordova, you almost feel like you’re entering his own fortress of solitude or perhaps his private Bat Cave.
David Al-ChokhachI, Dalton’s dad, said “His art teacher painted that because he’s a big Robin (Batman & Robin) fan.”
Welcome to Dalton’s superhero room filled with a flying Superman hanging from the ceiling and posters featuring members of the Justice League.
And, of course, there’s Dalton talking about the Incredible Hulk and Thor from ‘The Avengers’ movie, “And the part where he (the hulk) punches Thor like this. Whoo!!!! Hehehe.”
It’s also easy to tell Dalton is no ordinary kid. He’s facing some pretty super obstacles, but with the support of his parents, David and Stacie, and his sister Marissa.
It all started about two years ago when Dalton’s parents took him to the doctor for his kindergarten physical.
Stacie Al-Chokhachi is Dalton’s mom, “When I heard Muscular Dystrophy my jaw just dropped.”
Dalton’s dad remembers how he felt, “In a second we walked out with a little boy who had been given a short life was what they were telling us.”
Dalton was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
It’s an inherited disorder that involves muscle weakness, which quickly gets worse and can eventually claim the lives of the children.
Dalton’s mom, Stacie, said it can be tough on the family, especially when Dalton asks questions about his health, “Like when he asks me ‘mommy, why can’t I walk or…’ I am starting to get emotional. I’m sorry. I was doing so good.”
Dalton’s disorder makes it harder for him to run around like other kids and it’s more difficult for him to climb the steps of his playground set.
Dr. William Warner is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Le Bonheur’s Muscular Dystrophy Clinic in Memphis, “As the child becomes a teenager, usually walking becomes too much for their muscles become so weak they have to go into a wheelchair.”
Le Bonheur’s Muscular Dystrophy Clinic offers help and hope to patients and families.
It provides children like Dalton, with neuromuscular diseases, one location to receive care.
It’s also used for clinical trials of the latest experimental therapies and drugs.
Warner said, “So, there are some things that have helped them as far as keeping them from developing deformities, keeping them more active and keeping them doing things they want to do.”
It’s why this family, which wears its Team 3D t-shirts, Dalton, Defeating Duchenne, remains hopeful that a cure will be found
David Al-Chokhachi said, “Le Bonheur is part of God’s blessing in Dalton’s life and in the life of any kid.”
Le Bonheur is giving hope to sick kids like Dalton who feel almost like they’re super heroes.
Stacie Al-Chokhachi, “Amen, absolutely, he is a super kid and we say he’s God’s superhero.”