Celeste Graham, PT, and Doug Levine, PT, join Jennifer Wallace, PT and Director of the CureDuchenne Cares program, who initially developed the workshops and training sessions. Together these physical therapists will combine their years of experience with the common goal of creating a healthier future for Duchenne patients all over the country.
“Duchenne is such a rare disease, that it is often improperly diagnosed. This can lead to missed opportunities to begin care in the disease’s early stage,” said Debra Miller, Founder and CEO of CureDuchenne. “There is no cure for Duchenne and, as of now, physical therapy and steroids are the only known impactful treatments. That is why we truly encourage every Duchenne family to take advantage of the CureDuchenne Cares education and treatment programs.”
Duchenne is a devastating muscle disease that affects nearly 20,000 boys in the United States alone. Most children are diagnosed by the age or 5, lose their ability to walk about 12 and most do not survive their mid-20s. However, appropriate physical therapy has the potential to add years of mobility to lives of Duchenne patients.
 The CureDuchenne Cares workshops feature two sessions. The first session is the continuing education course for healthcare professionals. The full-day course is designed for physical therapists, occupational therapists, adapted physical educators, speech and language pathologists, educators, physicians and nursing professionals. The session focuses on therapy treatment, orthopedic management, activity modification and equipment selection. The physical therapy workshops give healthcare professionals an in depth understanding of Duchenne including the typical progression of the disease, help them select appropriate physical therapy treatment options and develop thorough care plans for clients, and understand current research strategies and upcoming treatments. Upcoming physical therapist sessions are scheduled on June 10 in Long Island, New York; July 8 in Chicago, Illinois; and July 29 in Sacramento, California.
Professionals who complete the continuing education session are encouraged to become CureDuchenne Cares Certified Physical Therapists. Certified physical therapists received ongoing training on the most current standards of care for Duchenne and are recognized as qualified providers for physical therapy for Duchenne patients.
The second CureDuchenne Cares session is designed for families and caregivers. This free workshop focuses on proper education and basic exercises for primary and daily caregivers. Topics include stretching instruction and routines, equipment demos, activity and school modifications, and mobility management. The session also features updates on Duchenne research and clinical trials. Family and Caregiver Workshops are scheduled for this summer on June 11, in Long Island, New York; July 9, in Chicago, Illinois; and July 30 in Sacramento, California.
Both Graham and Levine have been licensed, practicing physical therapists since 1997. Graham’s experience includes in-home and clinical settings, establishing education and medical models of care.  The majority of her pediatric experience was with San Diego County’s California Children Services program, where she served for some time as liaison to the Muscle Disease Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she coordinated care for patients with Duchenne.  Her patient care currently focuses solely on boys and young adults with Duchenne.
Levine has worked for the Shorkey Center in Beaumont, Texas, Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, Texas, and has provided physical therapy for over 10 school districts. Levine currently owns Growing Places Therapy Services in Austin, Texas, a pediatric therapy practice providing physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. He has been working with families affected by Duchenne from the beginning of his career and has chosen to focus much of his time and energy to help those who have been impacted by this disease. Levine has been the physical therapist for the Austin area Muscular Dystrophy clinic for the past seven years and has been an active volunteer for MDA Summer Camp for the past 10 years.
“Celeste and Doug will be valuable assets to our organization, Duchenne families and the entire Duchenne community,” said Miller. “Their experience will enable CureDuchenne Cares to expand our physical therapy training programs and workshops. Our aim is to provide the best therapy possible to thousands of children with Duchenne giving them a better chance of maintaining their mobility for as long as possible.”
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