Tank's Story

Justin VanLanduit, aka “TurfTank”, was diagnosed with FSH Dystrophy in April 2013 at the age of 33. It was a fluke that he was diagnosed; he was in the process of physical therapy for his lower back when the therapist thought it was odd that he couldn’t raise his arms above shoulder height. That simple observation led to an appointment with Dr. Romeo, a leading orthopedic, whom during observation of movement and other means informed Justin he believed he had a form of Muscular Dystrophy – Fascioscapulohumeral Dystrophy. From there Neurologist’s got involved along with genetic testing to confirm the diagnosis.

It took some time to come to terms with the diagnosis but he has met it head on. In 2016 his wife, himself and his parents participated in their first Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Walk. During their first event they raised just over $8000 and was one of the top earning teams. Justin was asked to speak at the walk and that moment was an eye opening experience. He realized then that the support behind him was great and that his life would go on.

2017 came along and Team TurfTank participated again in the Chicagoland Muscle Walk for the MDA. This year a few more teammates joined; Justin’s brother Jason and Jason’s wife Renae. Another year of amazing support and fundraising to the amount of just over $11,000.

Amazed by all the support but also the lack of awareness, Justin wondered if he could do more. His thoughts eventually lead him to The TurfTank Foundation.

What is Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy?

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a genetic muscle disorder in which the muscles of the face, shoulder blades and upper arms are among the most affected.

The long name comes from facies, the Latin word and medical term for face; scapula, the Latin word and anatomical term for shoulder blade; andhumerus, the Latin word for upper arm and the anatomical term for the bone that goes from the shoulder to the elbow.

The term muscular dystrophy means progressive muscle degeneration, with increasing weakness and atrophy (loss of bulk) of muscles. In FSHD, weakness first and most seriously affects the face, shoulders and upper arms, but the disease usually also causes weakness in other muscles. (Source: mda.org)