Benefit held to raise money for a cure to 5th grader's disease - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Benefit held to raise money for a cure to 5th grader's life-threatening disease


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Saturday was a day for moving to the music in Menomonie. A Zumba dance benefit was held for 11 year-old Brett Boettcher, a fifth grader with a degenerative muscular condition. We went to "Shake it for Duchenne" to watch people dance like crazy for a cure.

Brett Boettcher's body moves to the beat of a slightly different drum than most kids his age.

"It's a lethal, genetic disease that there is no cure, there is no real treatment for right now," said Bart Boettcher, Brett's father and Menomonie High School's Athletic Director.

The Menomonie fifth grader has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes his muscles to deteriorate.

"Brett was diagnosed when he was five years old. We noticed actually at little league baseball that something was definitely wrong. He wasn't able to get to first base real quickly," Bart explained.

Saturday, at Menomonie Middle School, a Zumba dance benefit helped raise money for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. The non-profit group works to find a cure for the disease.

"He's able to walk about a block. So after a block, we either have to put him in a wheelchair, jump on a back, something like that," said Bart.

"It's difficult watching other kids run and play. When I walk, I fall sometimes when my legs give out," Brett Boettcher said.

Medicine from the United Kingdom helps Brett, but it doesn't fix the problem.

"We've been importing this drug for a while, and it has helped. Stretching, some physical therapy also helps prolong. But eventually the muscles get to a point where they're so weak that they can't work any more," said Bart.

In addition to dancing by his side, Brett's mother also runs marathons with her coworkers to help raise money.

"It's all for him, and we've ran Chicago, and this year we're bringing it back to the Twin Cities," said Lynn Boettcher.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only about 500 kids are born with a type of muscular dystrophy each year.

"Most boys live up until their late 20's, so we're in a race against time right now," Bart explained. "You've got to always have something that gives you hope, fundraisers and community events. Menomonie is an incredible community that comes together and supports, you know, a cause like this. It's a great thing," Bart said.

More than 300 people showed up to help today, helping to raise about $7,000 for research. Members of the Menomonie High and UW-Stout dance teams helped lead dances for the event.

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