The Ride for a Friend organizers and hard working volunteers would like to introduce you to Dylan!
Dylan Chase Wilger-Gale was born October 8th, 2009. About 2 weeks prior to his birth, parents Vince and Venessa were informed there was something wrong with him. Given how far along they were in her pregnancy, doctors were not able to provide a full diagnosis until he was born. Venessa gave birth to Dylan at Mount Sinai hospital in downtown Toronto. After 3 weeks of visits to the doctors at Sick Kids hospital, they were finally able to diagnose his condition. Dylan was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, AMC for short. AMC is the term used when there are multiple joint contractures, where a joint becomes permanently fixed in a bent or straightened position, completely or partially restricting the movement of the affected joint. Dylan suffers from this in all of his main extremities (arms and legs). It is a rare condition that 1 in 3000 children are born with. There are multiple possible reasons for this occurring, including genetics and/or lack of movement in the womb. It was confirmed that genetics were not the cause, however given the other 300+ possible causes, the exact cause could not be determined. It is a disability that has a positive progression as he ages, with physio, occupational therapy, and surgeries. Some children, about two thirds, are able to walk with therapy and surgeries. Unfortunately, Dylan has also suffered from a lack of muscle in his legs, which is another common characteristic that hasn't allowed him to walk. Dylan had hip surgery at 6 months to correct his dislocated hips, another common characteristic. He has also had 2 surgeries to his achilles tendon in both feet as he also had clubbed foot on both sides. Additionally, he had a bone removed in both feet to allow for them to rest more flat so he is able to get around in his walker more efficiently. He wears AFO braces on his feet to help support him while he walks, as well as keep his feet from turning inward from having clubbed feet. Being mobile in his walker is great exercise and helps him build up the muscle he does have in his legs. Most of the time though Dylan gets around by way of his wheelchair.
Dylan is 12 years old now. He played in a challenger baseball league in the GTA area. He is an avid gamer and is extremely friendly and positive. He enjoys school and is strong academically, maintaining A and B averages. In July of 2020, the family moved to the Sudbury area and were able to purchase their first home. It had been their dream to do so, and to have the ability to modify where they lived to allow Dylan to be more independent. They purchased a new wheelchair just before the move, and unfortunately it did not last very long without requiring major repairs, along with being discontinued and unable to make any modifications to better suit Dylan's needs. It’s our hope, that through Ride for a Friend, Vince and Venessa may be able to get Dylan a better chair or one of the many other
assistive devices a child like him is going to need.
We hope you’ll join us again this year, or for the first time, to help support a local family. Of course we expect to have a great time doing it!