No One Can Fill Her Shoes
Dianne Bucklalew is the quintessential “Mama Bear,” and for good reason. She has two children—Garrett, 28, and Lexi, 26—who have Muscular Dystrophy (MD). Dianne may not be eight-feet tall, weigh 400 hundred pounds, or have sharp claws and teeth like a real bear, but it wouldn’t be a good idea to hurt or mistreat her children. For nearly three decades she has fiercely protected them and advocated for them. Muscular Dystrophy is a disease in which abnormal genes interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle. This results in progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. There is no cure.
Dianne is originally from Pittsburgh and has been married to her husband, Mark, for 32 years. When Garrett was born, doctors told her that he had ‘benign developmental delay,’ but it took more than three years to get the correct diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy. Only two weeks after getting this diagnosis, Dianne realized she was pregnant. Nine months after Lexi was born she had worries about her, had her tested, and learned that she also had MD. To complicate matters even more, Lexi developed epilepsy and suffered 28 to 30 seizures a day throughout middle and high school. It took six doctors, three hospitals and six years to find the right medication. This fall will mark 10 years of being seizure-free for Lexi. Garrett and Lexi have been going to physical therapy since they were two years old. Dianne has been their primary caregiver, their medical advocate and their cheerleader.