Dusty’s Trail: Summit of Borneo, is an inspirational story about Dusty, a 20-year-old young man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne).
When Dusty was young, he seemed like any other normal child – happy, playful and smart. However, Dusty could never run, hop, or jump. What his parents and doctors thought were just delays in physical development, actually revealed a more devastating reality. Dusty was diagnosed with Duchenne at age six.
Duchenne is a genetic, fatal, progressive muscle wasting condition that affects one in 3,500 boys worldwide. It cuts across countries, cultures and races. Duchenne does not affect the mind. Dusty went from walking at age six to a wheelchair by age nine.
The diagnosis of Duchenne meant that every muscle in Dusty’s body was going to steadily weaken for the rest of his life until the heart and breathing muscles would stop functioning. Tragically, many young men with Duchenne die in their early to mid 20’s.
Filmed in Borneo and California, the documentary is based on interviews with doctors, researchers, parents, friends and people who have been inspired by Dusty’s life, some with whom he has never met, and others who share the same path.
Throughout Dusty’s life, Duchenne continues to steal many things: his ability to walk, to lift his arms, to comb his hair, to hug, to cough, to breathe independently. Confined to a wheelchair, he sits in a tightly fitted orthotic seat that accommodates a spine twisted by scoliosis. The seat helps him sit up since he is unable to on his own. Dusty has endured a gradual loss of all physical ability, whilst at the same time having a mind like any other young man’s. In the last few years, Dusty has experienced weakness in the muscles of his heart and diaphragm.
Whilst his journey has been filled with the ups and downs of living with Duchenne, his spirit thrives. His strength and resilience have stood up to the challenges thrown at him. Dusty transcends the harsh reality of Duchenne to a higher reality of a life filled with love, happiness, laughter and peace.
Dusty’s Trail celebrates life through ties that bind all of humanity. It is about the power of creating a positive, happy, fulfilling and inspiring life when the odds seem against it.
A special thanks to the people of Sabah, and the Duchenne community worldwide.