#DuchenneCAN: Meet the two wheelchair athletes  proving people living with a rare disease CAN win gold

This Article is developed and sponsored by PTC Therapeutics. 

Code: ATA/DMD/UK/23/0037 I Date of preparation: July 2023 


#DuchenneCAN is a global movement celebrating what individuals affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD or Duchenne), CAN achieve. Despite living with a life-altering, rare disease, each one of the #DuchenneCAN stories highlights the incredible resilience and strength faced by the community.

Alexander Ibsen and Tim Pederson, Danish Powerchair Hockey champions, have been sports enthusiasts for as long as they can remember.

Both Alexander and Tim live with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a life-threatening, rare disease that causes progressive muscle deterioration. However, DMD certainly hasn’t stopped Alexander and Tim from achieving success both on and off the hockey field.  

In fact, they were part of a gold-winning team at the 2022 Powerchair Hockey International Championships. 

Adapted

The sport is an adapted form of hockey which is intended specifically for wheelchair users, with teams of five battling against each other to score the most goals. The game can be adapted to each player’s level of ability, making it popular among all ages, genders and strengths throughout the disability community.  

Alexander first found his love for Powerchair Hockey 16 years ago and is now both an established player and team coach for his national team in Denmark. Tim is much newer to the sport and discovered his love for the game just two years ago. He said: “I used to once dream about playing for the Danish national team, and that dream become a reality last year!”

Alongside his action-packed hockey schedule, Alexander also has a full-time IT career and has delved into the world of advocacy, working with muscular dystrophy charities to make employment more accessible.  

Beyond the hockey pitch

For Tim, healthy living goes beyond the hockey pitch, and alongside his part-time office role, and through the use of his own social media accounts, he has made it his mission to encourage others to be the best they can be – both mentally and physically.

After reaping the positive benefits of an active lifestyle and shared connection through team sports, both Alexander and Tim are on a mission to inspire the younger disabled community to get involved. They said: We encourage people to join with a friend and give it a go! You may find it challenging at first, but you won’t ever regret trying”.   

And if one gold medal wasn’t enough, Alexander and Tim have their eyes firmly set on placing first at the 2024 European Championship in their home country of Denmark.

Head to www.DuchenneCAN.co.uk to read more inspirational stories, from geneticists, to Amazon-best-selling authors and award-winning caregivers. 

 

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