Justin Sines was a very active teenage boy before 2011. He played baseball and wrestled, but his dream was to use his natural talent as a Center on the football field to secure scholarships for college. Then, in 2011, he began experiencing unusual symptoms which interfered not only with sports, but with his everyday life activities. After extensive medical testing, he was diagnosed with Dystonia.
Dystonia is a rare, progressive syndrome characterized by involuntary muscle contractions, which force certain parts of the body into abnormal, sometimes painful, movements or postures. Dystonia can affect any part of the body including the arms and legs, trunk, neck, eyelids, face, or vocal cords.
If Dystonia causes any type of impairment, it is because muscle contractions interfere with normal function. Features such as cognition, strength, and the senses, including vision and hearing are normal. It is the third most common movement disorder after Parkinson’s Disease and Tremor, affecting more than 300,000 people in North America. Dystonia affects all races and ethnic groups.
Although there is currently no known cure for Dystonia, physicians are gaining a better understanding of the disorder through research and are developing new approaches to treatments.
Justin’s life today is vastly different than pre-diagnosis. Thanks to the surgical implementation of a deep brain stimulation device, and a daily regiment of 22 prescription pills, he’s better able to make it through the day while still experiencing milder involuntary muscle contractions. There are good days and there are bad days for Justin. He can no longer participate in contact sports, so he spends his free time fishing and raising pigs within the local 4H club.
For companionship today and in anticipation of Justin’s future physical limitations, we’re looking to raise funds to provide him with a service dog. Our goal is to financially support Justin obtaining a service dog from the W.A.G.S. 4 kids program ( http://www.wags4kids.org/).