Making a muscle in his Q6 Edge
For the first time in three years, Bryson Foster was able to go into his own backyard this past June.
Bryson, 12, of Concord, N.C., is the son of Phil and Claire Foster. Bryson was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at age five and he started using a manual wheelchair for long distances about two years ago.
In the spring, Bryson got a Q6 Edge® Power Chair in black and orange, the colors of his favorite football team: the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to The Q6 Edge's ability to handle different terrains, Bryson can now access his yard once again. Phil, full of emotion, said for the first time in years his son was also able to ride on a swing in the yard that Phil built him when he was a baby.
"My Q6 Edge helps me to have a lot more freedom," Bryson said. "Nobody has to push me around anymore. I really like having freedom. I can kind of do what I would like to do."
And Bryson unarguably has a lot that he likes to do. The sixth-grader is the 2012 Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Goodwill Ambassador, which he says is a great honor.
Bryson's parents got involved with the MDA not long after they learned their son's diagnosis. The first year, the family participated in a local MDA Muscle Walk. By the following year, they had organized their own team to help raise money for the organization and continued to do so annually. Soon, the Fosters started attending every MDA event they could.
One night at an MDA awards banquet, Bryson asked if he could speak. Bryson had just broken his femur bone and he spoke about how he was going to beat the injury. From that point on, he frequently spoke on behalf of the MDA.
"I was anxious because I had never done it before, but when I got up there I didn't want to stop," Bryson said.
In his role as the 2012 MDA Goodwill Ambassador, Bryson has been traveling the country and raising awareness of muscular dystrophy and the MDA. He has been in photo shoots, promotional commercials, and attended many dinners including MDA Black and Blue Ball events.
Over Labor Day weekend, Bryson was an integral part of the MDA's annual telethon. This year there was no official live telethon on television. However, Bryson was part of a prerecorded national show that aired. He also attended a live local telethon in Charlotte.
Bryson says he has one main aspiration of what he is trying to accomplish in his role: a cure.
"People who don't know much about muscular dystrophy need to know that the people who have it can do things and make a huge difference," he said.