Rich Copson’s Blog

April 18, 2020 11:55 am

It has been quite a while since I have wrote anything about my personal story so when Emma asked me to write this blog to let supporters of Alex’s Wish know about me I felt quite apprehensive, it really is difficult writing about yourself as you often worry how you might come across…..

Some of you may know me for my appearances at the Alex’s Wish Ball or other events,  or you might have seen me on the social media pages and wondered why I am connected to the charity, well in the next 4 short blogs I will give you an idea of who I am and why Alex’s Wish is so close to my heart. 

Like with all journeys we shall start at the beginning….

I am Rich Copson and I have been an ambassador for the charity since 2016 but it was in 2002 at the age of 16 that my journey began, Throughout my school life I had always loved sport but could never understand why I couldn’t keep up with friends, they just always seemed a lot stronger and faster, my family always put it down to tight tendons in my legs until I was struggling in my mid-teens walking up the stairs.

I used to play tennis non-stop as a child, I would cycle a 2-mile round trip just to get on court, despite being slow to get around the court I was technically quite a good player for my age group. However, on top of my issues walking up the stairs and my falls on the tennis court which become more and more frequent we decided to visit my GP, only to be told what we had thought.  I remember the exact words….“I am afraid your son has very tight tendons and I think he would benefit from daily stretching exercises”, 6 months of stretching later I was then opting to crawl up the stairs in my house on all fours, things were not improving.

We went to see one of the other doctors that had known me when I was a lot younger and he seemed to think the tight tendons maybe symptoms of something else as he was doing some research and thought it would be a good idea if I attended the hospital to speak to a neurologist.  So off I went, 16 years old looking forward to a career in catering, I remember walking into a cold museum like hospital waiting room looking at all the signs and leaflets about Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis & Motor Neurons disease – these words meant nothing to me apart from to making me feel that some bad news was coming.

I remember it clear as day “Mrs Copson, I think your son has something called muscular dystrophy which is a progressive muscle wasting disease which can also affect his heart, breathing and swallowing, he will not be able to a physical job and will be wheelchair bound by around the age of 25, we will take some blood and send it for testing …please come back in an hour”

An hour later of crying uncontrollably in the car park thinking this cannot be real….the results were in….I had Becker Muscular Dystrophy, I think they say with a trauma it can cause you to kind of black out as I don’t remember much more of that day after that.

Looking forward to sharing more of my journey in next blog……..

Posted in