Toledoan with Duchenne MD reaches a milestone

August 11, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
A local man is blazing a trail for people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and Tom Sulfaro is about to reach a major milestone. Tom Sulfaro will turn 40 this weekend. He has outlived all predictions for patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by decades and is believed to be the oldest survivor with the disease.

Sulfaro credits his family, his caregivers and, "God number one," he says. Sulfaro's been on a ventilator for over 20 years and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has wasted his muscles so that he cannot move on his own. That hasn't stopped him from being the most optimistic person you'll ever meet. "It could be a lot worse, that's what I think about."

He has only been hospitalized once in the last 24 years, his nurse credits that to Tom's brother, Bob. Connie Lange says, "The first thing I think of is the brother care. The fact that he has a brother who loves him and takes care of him is I think family is huge."

Tom lives with Bob who was too shy and humble to do an interview, but he's been his brother's caregiver since they were teenagers. Together they enjoy their large Italian family, travel, and sports.

Sulfaro's an inspiration to other Duchenne patients who at a young age are told their lives will likely end at 20. He founded a social group that give's patients with Duchenne hope. Tom has a way of changing your perspective. "When I see him and his circumstances and he's not complaining, what do I have to complain about? Really."

Load Comments