Physical Therapist Karin Gorman is a Glimpse of Hope for Local Duchenne Community

After her 10-month-old nephew was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Karin Gorman was inspired to learn more about the disease and find a way to make a difference in the lives of families and individuals affected by Duchenne.

A fatal genetic disease with no cure, Duchenne muscular dystrophy causes muscle deterioration and affects more than 300,000 boys worldwide. There are currently only two FDA-approved pharmaceutical treatments and one helps only a limited number of Duchenne patients. As patients grow older, they typically lose their ability to walk by 12 years old and have an average life expectancy of mid 20s.  Physical therapy is the only non-pharmaceutical treatment that has a positive impact on most patients as they combat Duchenne.

Karin has been a physical therapist for eight years and received her PT education from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. She currently practices in Phoenix. It was immediately after her first pediatric rotation that she realized she wanted to dedicate herself to helping children. She now works at a school helping children with special needs. After finding out her nephew was diagnosed with Duchenne, she wanted to find a way to combine her existing skills with advanced education to help, what she feels, is an underserved community.

“After my nephew was diagnosed with Duchenne, I was compelled to pursue the CureDuchenne Cares certification to not only help him, but an entire community of families and individuals with Duchenne. With this certification, I hope to be a valuable resource and positive advocate for proper treatment for those affected by Duchenne,” explains Karin.

As a physical therapist, Karin has taken numerous continuing education courses that help her review and refine her skills to make her patients with other childhood disorders stronger. Due to the deteriorating factors of Duchenne, the physical therapy goal is to maintain mobility and motor skills for as long as possible. Even then, at a certain point, the disease takes over. Karin attended the CureDuchenne Cares Certification Program to help explore the world of physical therapy as it applies to Duchenne.

“The CureDuchenne Cares program exposed me to treatments that were catered directly to patients with Duchenne. This program helped translate our typical physical therapy methods into appropriate and effective treatment plans for Duchenne children,” says Karin.

Developed by Jennifer Wallace, founder of the Duchenne Therapy Network, the CureDuchenne Cares Physical Therapist Certification program works in conjunction with CureDuchenne, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne. The physical therapy, educational, and outreach program focuses on the most current standards of care, shared best practices, and the skills necessary to navigate the healthcare system.

Karin feels she can become a vital resource in the Arizona community for Duchenne patients and their families by learning the best options for Duchenne physical therapy treatment and helping the family to build a community of support. Karin hopes to one day open her own practice and believes it is important to equip herself with all the information needed to address to the specific needs of the Duchenne community.

Although her journey was inspired by the diagnosis of her nephew, Karin realizes that there are more Duchenne families who could benefit from her certification.

Teaming up with the CureDuchenne Cares Certified PTs around the U.S. Karin explains, “I’m looking forward to leveraging my physical therapy skills to help the Duchenne community in Phoenix and beyond,” added Karin.


If you are a physical therapist and are interested in learning more about the CureDuchenne Cares Physical Therapy certification program and its benefits, click here.

Are you looking for a physical therapist who is specially trained to care for your loved one with Duchenne? Check out the listings of CureDuchenne Cares Certified PTs across the nation here.




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