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2015 Spring/Summer issue of FSH Watch is out!

2015 SpringSummerFSHWatchCoverThe latest issue of our FSH Watch newsletter has just come out. You can download it here.

Highlights include:

  • The first evidence-based FSHD care guideline has been published. What is it? How does this empower the patient? (Page 1).
  • #FSHDStronger, our new awareness campaign (Page 1).
  • The decision to stop working: what you need to know. (Page 8).
  • Advancing clinical trial readiness for FSHD (Page 14).
  • Opportunities to volunteer. Research studies need you! (Page 16).
  • Why seek genetic testing for FSHD? (Page 24).
  • Breathing issues that every patient needs to understand (Page 26).

FSH Society Beneficiary of Variety of Fall Fundraising Events

logoPRWebFrom PRWeb

The FSH Society, the Massachusetts-based charity that has transformed the science of the little-known and incurable disease, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), will be the beneficiary of a collection of fundraising events this fall. From Boston to Los Angeles, each event has the same mission – to raise awareness of the FSH Society and further FSHD research. Continue reading

Why seek genetic testing for Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy?

Even without treatment, a diagnosis is therapeutic

Asifa Lalji

Asifa Lalji

By Asifa Lalji (from her article in the FSH Watch Newsletter Spring/Summer 2015)

When the Canadian provincial government of British Columbia decided it would not provide national health insurance coverage for genetic testing of FSHD, it triggered this response from a constituent. She raises important arguments that could apply equally well to physicians and insurers elsewhere who do not recognize the medical need for genetic testing.

The guidelines around out-of-province genetic testing state that it can be approved if “the genetic information is medically necessary, as the genetic information may significantly alter current medical treatment for the beneficiary.”

I can tell you unequivocally that an accurate diagnosis of FSH muscular dystrophy is crucial in managing the disease, symptoms, and the quality of life for the patient. Continue reading

Doug & Gracie NYC to DC needs your support!


This September 6, Doug Craig, a retired scientist who has lived with FSHD since his teenage years, will be embarking on a 290-mile journey from New York City’s Columbus Circle to the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC riding on his mobility scooter. Accompanying him will be Gracie, a Bernese mountain dog adopted in 2013.

Why is he undertaking such an arduous journey? Doug explains: “I have been an active supporter of the FSH Society for many years, but, aside from making monetary donations, I have never taken it upon myself to raise funds for the organization. Of course, if I wasn’t willing to step up and try fundraising, then it wasn’t exactly fair to expect others to do it. Nevertheless, I managed to side-step the issue—that is, until now. It’s time I make a change and try to make a difference.Continue reading

Report from Sacramento

MimisCafeBy Bill Lewis III, MD

A new support group met for the first time in Sacramento, CA on August 19th at a centrally located restaurant.  We had 10 attendees from the larger Sacramento area.  About half the attendees were affected by FSHD and the other half were family members.  Ages ranged from twenties to retired.

The group was really positive and fun.  We introduced ourselves and spoke of when we were diagnosed, affected and unaffected family members, and how we were all still being very active socially and professionally.  One member thought the group might be more of a grief counseling group but was thrilled to find that we were quite jocular.  (Thanks Tim and Dave!  Keep up the good work.)  I suggested that we form a band, as many members were/are musicians.  I thought harmonica might be good!  (Y’all should get the joke.) Continue reading

International facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy research conference in Boston


Westin Boston Harbor Hotel, site of the 2015 FSH Society International Research Consortium workshop

The FSH Society’s 2015 Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) International Research Consortium and Planning Meeting will convene in Boston this year, on October 5-6. This meeting is the largest annual forum for research professionals and clinical researchers to share the latest findings in FSHD research. For more information click here.

National Pro Grid League supports the FSH Society

npglThe National Pro Grid League (NPGL) announced today that it has selected the FSH Society as a beneficiary of its charity program. The men and women athletes in the NPGL, the world’s first coed professional team sport, perform at the highest level of athleticism, displaying feats of strength and agility well beyond the ordinary. The League is proud to assist non-profit organizations that support people who struggle with conditions that affect their strength and mobility.

As stated in their press release, each ticket sold for an NPGL match will benefit the FSH Society starting August 22-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.  Purchase a NPGL match ticket at a discounted rate of $22 and $10 will immediately go to the FSH Society. Click here to purchase tickets. Continue reading

“I decided to fight back”

By Russell Caratenuto, FSH Society Ambassador

As a child I never second-guessed my ability to stick out my shoulder blades and make what my rus picfriends would call “wings”.

This difference never stopped me from being the most athletic child I could possibly be. Up until puberty, I was among the fastest, strongest, and most physically gifted in my age group. I excelled at football and was a strong kid. I was able to manage the endless running in soccer, football, and basketball. Continue reading