At first glance, 13-year-old George Gregory, Jr. enjoys playing with Legos and watching Star Wars. But George faces challenges that most adults cannot relate with. At the age of three, doctors diagnosed George with Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that progressively weakens the skeletal muscles.
"It's devastating, really, especially with my background, I already knew about the disease," explained Dawn Gregory, George's mom and physical therapist. "The current outlook is much better than what it was, but it was really tragic."
Since his diagnosis, George's mom, dad and sister have pitched in to help him cope.
"It's been an entire family working to help him," said George Gregory, Sr.
Now, George is looking to help others. George is the Goodwill Ambassador for the Upper Peninsula's chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"I feel great because I get to see other kids that are like me and help raise money for my disease," said George.
He also hopes to raise awareness of the disease to other kids who are not sick.
"Well, I hope that they will understand what it's like to have this, because I don't think it's fair that some kids have to have it and some kids don't have to have it," George expressed.
Despite facing enormous challenges, the Gregory family only asks to be treated as any other family.
"The things that we really appreciate from friends and family, that they want to treat us normally, and that's something that's really important to us," said George Gregory, Sr.
"Well, I just want to feel normal and when people feel sorry for me, then I don't feel normal," George remarked.
Dawn and her husband say they have always been honest with George about his condition, and for now they are taking it one day at a time.
"You kind of always have it in the back of your mind," Dawn reflected. "You're kind of always going to keep in mind that it's going to be different and focus on today."
The 2012 MDA telethon airs on Sunday night from 8 to 11 p.m. on TV6. Donations made during the telethon go to help people like George.