New Blog

Dear lovely readers,

In case you haven’t heard, our website got a makeover just before the new year! With this makeover came a new blog!

All new posts will be posted to www.muscle.ca/blog

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to bringing you more stories on the new blog!

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Not Another Me

Lindsay Ell 2I saw Lindsay Ell – an amazing performer from Calgary, Alberta – perform for the first time as one of the opening acts for The Band Perry in Oshawa, Ontario. As soon as she said the words, “muscular dystrophy,” I sat straight up. Having only been working at the National office of Muscular Dystrophy Canada for just over three months at the time, I knew most of the general public had either not heard of muscular dystrophy, or did not know what is was. But there Lindsay was, telling a sold out Oshawa Centre about her friend who is affected by muscular dystrophy.

Me, Lindsay, and my friend Tara

Me, Lindsay, and my friend Tara

At the end of her set, Lindsay told the crowd that she would be doing a meet and greet – I knew I had to be there. I was second in line, and told her about how much I loved that song and that I worked for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and would love to share the song with all of you. Lindsay was so gracious, sweet and excited to have the opportunity to have you all hear the song and to tell you a little bit more about the meaning behind it. I had the opportunity to ask her some questions:

Q: Tell me about your friend.

A: A sweet friend of mine has muscular dystrophy and honestly has one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever met in my life.  She is so honest, funny, generous, and is completely full of natural inner/outer beauty.  She is one of my biggest supporters and fans of my music.  I met her through friends of the music industry, and her passion for music is completely infectious.  She is a constant reminder of how we take the little things in life for granted.

What did writing this song mean to you?

A: This song is really special to me, because I firmly believe regardless of who you are or what you’re doing in life, self confidence is such an important thing and a quality that is so easily damaged in a society like we have today.  Especially with youth these days, there is so much pressure on them to act/look a certain way.  So I really want this song to constantly be a reminder of how much you should value yourself and your self worth, knowing that regardless of what is thrown to you in life, that you can handle and deal with it.

What are your feelings towards being a part of your friend’s support group? What does being a member of a support group mean to you?

A: I am very proud to be a part of her support group, as I feel that everyone needs people they can count on in life.  We all have good and bad days in the crazy lives we lead, and therefore surrounding yourself with individuals that can help you navigate through those tough times is crucial.  I think that everyone in life needs to have those few select people that they keep close. One of my closest friends told me that you have your ‘postcard people.’ Those are 5 (or so) select people in life that you know you can count on to always be honest, be there for you, and have your back no matter what.

What do you hope people take away after listening to “Not Another Me?”

A: I hope that people take away a little glimpse of my personality and who I am from ‘Not Another Me.’ I hope that they can see my heart through the song, and see my passion for music and for ultimately wanting to help make a difference on a bigger level.

Watch Lindsay perform the song Not Another Me and explain the meaning behind it in Oslo, Norway:

To find out more about self-advocacy, click here.

Tell Lindsay how much you love the song on: Twitter, Facebook

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Maria Tassone is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the National office.

A Letter for You

AprilThere are so many possibilities out there and I hope you are taking them. I hope you have recognized just how special you are and the power you have to become all you dream of becoming. Your life is all you have and it can be all that you want it to be. Work hard. Work harder than everyone else. Do not wait for tomorrow, do it now. Because sometimes, those days never come.

Understand that sometimes life gives you struggles. But you have the opportunity to grow from it. You must decide who you want to be and fight for all you can be.  Be better today because of what happened yesterday. Make mistakes, have regrets, and learn from failure. Actually, fail all the time. Fail every day if you want. Just learn from it, grow past it, and do not let it steal you away. Love all your decisions, even if they turn out to be the biggest mistakes.

The scars you can never erase, the ones you try to hide sometimes- they are beautiful. You have lived. You have survived. It’s okay to stand out. I understand we all want to fit in, we all want to be accepted. But sometimes fate is a different story. Sometimes, it’s not for you to fit in. Do not be ashamed of that. Do not be ashamed of who you are. Don’t try and hide it. Embrace it.

Your stories are something I could defiantly learn from. Maybe perhaps even inspire me. & if you have the potential to inspire one person, you have the potential to inspire the world. Be a story worth telling. & tell it. Inspire me.

Your success, it does not lie all in what you have accomplished, but also what you have failed to do. You have been taught to be open and you have accepted challenges which have refined your skills, your being. Face your fears, prove yourself.

Always be kind. Your actions speak much louder than words. People deserve kindness. Do not waste your life being cold or trying to get ahead of everyone else. Do not waste time only helping yourself. I hope you find time to help others, and I hope they help you.

There is a reason behind every one you meet. Some will make you better, some will test you, and some will disappoint you. Do not take things personally. I have had people doubt me.  Be the bigger person and do not give them your time of day. They don’t deserve it.

I hope you get lost. In who you are. I hope you do not get lost in expectations, in materialistic things, or hate.

Those difficult days, which are full of failure and disappointments, I hope you find patience. Know you always have a chance. Whatever it is you want, it’s not going to come easy. It’s going to challenge you. You have to prove yourself. Know that you could have a million reasons why something is impossible. But one reason why, is far greater than all the reasons why not.

I hope you feel blessed. In the good, the bad, and the ugly. You may not feel it all the time, trust me I understand, but take a moment and look around. There is something to be thankful for, always.

I hope you find happiness. Within yourself. I hope you stay true to yourself. Live your truth, the way you want to. Do not ever pretend to be something you are not. You have one life- only one. You won’t be given this chance ever again.

Even if you lose it all, even if the sky comes crashing down on you, I hope you find strength. I hope you do not let it defeat you. You are much stronger than your circumstances.

What I want most for you is a life full of lessons. I hope you live long enough to get wrinkles and I hope you live life to the fullest. I hope it is full of excitement. I hope in good days and in bad, you find a reason to smile. I hope you smile every chance you get. Nobody’s life is perfect and far from easy. You have the choice to be grateful for all that you have and all that you may never know or understand.

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Ivana was born in Sanski Most, Bosnia & Herzegovina, but moved to Canada at the age of three. She was diagnosed with LGMD a few years ago, and it has forever changed her life. She is a regular contributor, and her blogs will be everything she has learned along the way, and what she continues to learn today.