Dr Lance O'Sullivan joins battle against life threatening disease

By Dean Nathan

Dr Lance O’ Sullivan has vowed to do everything he can to fight the devastating disease of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Dr O’ Sullivan‘s youngest son Lance was recently diagnosed with the disease which initially causes the loss of use of the legs and arms and leads to lung and heart complications.

He told Te Kāea the disease affects muscles and at the moment his 6 year old son is struggling to run long distances or jump around and he gets very tired.

O’Sullivan is known widely and has been awarded for his tireless efforts to improve the health of the Māori population, particularly for children and the news has hit his family hard.

“In recent days I’ve been asking, why has this happened? Its my job to address the health of our children, but that’s it. We’re angry and sad and we’ve done a lot of crying but of utmost importance now is supporting our son,” he says.

According to the Duchenne Awareness website, one in 3,500 newborn boys in the world are affected by the rare and fatal disease

O’Sullivan took the opportunity to raise awareness about the life-threatening condition on the World Awareness Day of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and says he will focus tirelessly on doing whatever he can to help his child and other sufferers of the debilitating disease.

He says, “to date, I’ve battled not for myself or for my own family. It wasn’t about my family. Now this fight is for my family and for our son and children affected like him.”

More information on the illness can be found here http://www.worldduchenneday.org/

Dean Nathan will have the full story tonight on Te Kāea at 5:30 and 7pm.