By Heather Killen
A local man is the new poster boy for Muscular Dystrophy in Nova Scotia.
Nick Vidito has been named this year's ambassador for the Halifax Walk for Muscular Dystrophy (MD). This year’s walk takes place on June 8, and Vidito has already been busy fundraising for the big day. He’s been getting buff with facts and figures about the disease so he can shine some light on a condition that affects tens of thousands.
“I’ve learned a lot of things,” he said. “A lot of people confuse Multiple Sclerosis with Muscular Dystrophy, but they are very different. There are 150 types of MD.”
On April 6, Vidito will be giving a presentation at 1:30 p.m. at the Kingston United Church, “Muscular Dystrophy and Me.” He will be talking about the disease and how it has affected his life.
At the age of four, he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle weakness that first affects the legs and pelvis and eventually spreads to the arms, neck, and other areas. By the time he was seven he was using a manual wheelchair and has been in a power wheelchair since Grade 6.
“I was honoured to get the phone call telling me that I’d been chosen as the ambassador,” he said. “It feels good to think that how I live my life can be an inspiration to others.”
Vidito says that when he is having a bad day, he looks to people like Luca Lazeylegz for inspiration. Luca Lazeylegz Patuelli is a well-known Canadian b-boy (break dancer).
Watching Lazylegz reminds him that anything is possible and that limitations are more in the mind rather than the body. He says that Patuelli experiences similar physical challenges, yet he’s ‘stepped out of the box to show people what’s possible.’
“I never thought it was possible to move that way,” he said. “It shows me that when I set my mind to something I can do it. The motto is no excuses, no limits. Anything is possible.”
He added that for him, that means there are always going to be bumps in the road but that doesn’t mean you stop, you just find a way around them. He added that it’s important to define yourself, not allow others to decide what can and can’t be done.
Vidito is also busy with fundraisers hoping to raise $2,000 for the walk on June 8. Last year, car problems prevented him from making the trip to Halifax and this year he’s made up his mind that nothing will stop him.
Every Wednesday night until June 5, the Top Hat Pub in Greenwood will donate $2 from every steak dinner sold, to Vidito’s Muscular Dystrophy fund. In the coming weeks he’ll be out and about collecting pledges for the Halifax Walk.
His most recent fundraiser was a special night at the Capital Pub featuring Jokers Right. Being able to give back to a group that’s helped him so much over the year is something he says he’s pleased to do.
“Muscular Dystrophy Canada has been a big part of my life throughout the years,” he says. “They've helped with the purchase of a lift, hospital bed and wheelchairs to make life easier. Thanks to them, I've had the opportunity to attend two Youth in Action conferences where I've met interesting people I've kept in touch with through social media and learned lots.”
To keep up to date with Nick Vidito, visit his Facebook page, (Halifax Walk for MDC Ambassador '13 - Nick Vidito)