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Article Courtesy of Des Plaines Journal

Friday, March 15, 2002

Much Improved

Surgery In Russia Restores
Strength To Young Paul;
Family, Friends Ecstatic With
Progress That’s Been Made

By Tracy Yoshida
    Those who have extended their hearts to support him or were concerned with young Paul Pietrowski’s battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have a reason to smile.

    Paul received a treatment in Russia a couple weeks ago and now he is able to raise his arms all the way up and stretch his legs all the way out. Doctors have also told his family that although they are not exactly sure when, he will he able to walk again.

    Currently Paul attends school at North School in a wheelchair and would like so badly to he able to play with the other children again.

    ‘‘He has a lot of strength  back. Paul said he feels like he wants to walk,” Said Lenny Thorne, who has been instrumental in fund-raising for Paul‘s treatment, along with his wife, Diane. “He’s getting better right now. I feel ecstatic. I feel like a big cloud’s been lifted. I would just like to thank everybody that helped.”
    “They got it in time,” said Thorne, who believes the treatment saved Paul’s life because his muscles were deteriorating.

    As a result of the generosity of the community, approximately $112,000 was collected in order to help Paul gain his strength back and live longer. Originally, he was going to receive a treatment in Korea. which involved thousands of injections. The family decided to have him treated in Russia instead and they are very pleased with the results. In Russia, Paul received two injections and was put on an IV. Each treatment will cost the Pietrowski family approximately $15,000 and he will need more injections in order to continue growing stronger. Money collected from community members will make this possible for him.

    “It was a lot of hard work,” said Thorne.

    “You can see the difference between before the treatment and now, said Paul’s uncle, Darek Pietrowski.
Pietrowski said that Paul is also “much happier right now. He said Paul and his father are working with a
physical therapist in order to strengthen his muscles and he will also he taking a swimming class.
    “It looks much, much better,” said Pietrowski. “That’s why I am so happy.”
    Thorne said that the support has still continued and people have sent cards and letters, asking how Paul’s doing. Thorne said people can also check the website savepaul.org for updates on his condition.