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Young brothers battling rare disease together

Brothers both diagnosed with DMD
Posted at 9:59 PM, Dec 22, 2021

AVONDALE, AZ — 10-year-old JJ and 4-year-old Andrew are typical brothers who play together and fight together.

Now, they understand each other more than ever as they're both battling the same rare degenerative disease: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

"I've always thought my kids are pretty special boys and I think that anybody who gets to meet them will see that for themselves," says Monica Cabrera, their mother.

"It's pretty awesome to see when they hug each other. Or, when he sees his older brother struggling, he tries to help. And, he has learned to have a lot of patience for his younger brother," Cabrera says of JJ.

Cabrera is spreading awareness about DMD by working with local businesses. She wants to warn parents about the signs and symptoms, something she knew nothing of before.

"He was falling a lot and he was very clumsy, and it was getting harder for him to walk," says Cabrera.

She held a fundraiser with her boys on Wednesday as they continue looking for new treatment options and medical equipment.

"I never thought being an advocate of something could be something, you know, special but, it really truly is and... you know, just to see us with our shirts or just representing the color green, it means a lot to me," says Cabrera.

"He's kind of understanding more of what is happening to him and the changes that he's going through. So, we just try to make it better for him and easier for him and more enjoyable for him as well," says Cabrera.

There is no cure for DMD. Cabrera tells us, it's been hard to process, finding out her children may never live a normal life.

Instead of focusing on that, she is focusing on helping them live their lives to the fullest.

"He's the ruler of the solar system," says JJ.

JJ loves drawing, something he does each and every day, along with playing in his school band. Andrew loves to dance and jump around, which he can still do at the moment.

To follow their journey, click here.