01 October 2020

The story of Cătălin – a high school student whose disease confines him to a wheelchair

Cătălin is a 17-year-old teenager suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle wasting. Despite the rapid progression of the disease, Cătălin has managed to get to high school, supported and encouraged not only by his family but also by his teachers and classmates. Duchenne muscular dystrophy…, “Without the school’s support, I would have had to take him out of class”, When he could not move around without a wheelchair anymore, in third grade, the family needed support from the school. They didn’t hesitate to ask for it and they got it. All his classes had to be conducted on the ground floor, an access ramp had to be built in school and an accessible toilet had to be set up. The parents got everything they asked…, “I couldn’t bear for him to face another shock at school as well”, When he started lower secondary school, he enjoyed the full support of his class teacher and the other teachers. If things had been different and the boy hadn’t felt comfortable at school, his family would have probably withdrawn him from mainstream education. The disease was already way too agonising for him and any school troubles would have…, A devoted mother, admired by the parents of Cătălin’s classmates, The family’s dedication and strive to send the boy to school in spite of his health problems made a great impression on the teachers and parents from the district school that Cătălin attended until eighth grade. “I first noticed, many years ago, this mother who always accompanied her child to school and stood out from the crowd. At first, he had…, Cătălin doesn’t want special treatment, The boy is currently in high school, majoring in industrial chemistry at the “Costin Nenițescu” Technical College in Bucharest, in a class of 30 students. He is good friends with most of his colleagues and, just like in lower grades, he is supported by his teachers, who appreciate his calm and respectful way of being. Although based on his…, A very uncertain future, Mainstream schooling and the close relationship with the teachers and classmates have been like a breath of fresh air for Cătălin and his family. His disease, with no cure yet, is rapidly progressing despite all the conventional and alternative therapies he tried and all the desperate efforts to slow it down. That is why his mother says she cannot…