Associação Sul Catarinense de Familiares, Amigos e Portadores de Distrofias Musculares Progressivas (ASCADIM)ASCADIM provides physical, psychological, and social care to people with muscular dystrophies in Southern Brazil. The organization was created based on insights from parents on the despair they felt following diagnosis and their desire for more and trusted information. Via ASCADIM, patients and their families can access vital support, guidance, and free physical therapy – crucial to those who use a wheelchair or have limited mobility. ASCADIM are the only institution to provide this type of care in the region.

After initially holding appointments at the physiotherapy clinic of Santa Catrina Far South University, ASCADIM acquired their own building in 2012. However, since moving, there have been no renovations. They held fundraisers to fix structural problems in 2019. However, ongoing financial limitations meant that the organization was temporarily unable to support and treat patients.

Total patient safety, care and free support are of the utmost importance for ASCADIM, who not only provide crucial physiotherapy services but are also invested in encouraging, assisting, and promoting research on a range of muscular dystrophies.

ASCADIM currently provide care to 22 patients, but with help from STRIVE Awards funding, they plan to renovate their headquarters so that they can more than double this number. They hope to improve the safety and comfort of their patients by installing an alarm system and air conditioning, refurnishing the waiting room and dining area, and purchasing new dining equipment. They also plan to buy new physiotherapy and medical equipment to deliver vital care and support.

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With improved facilities and equipment, ASCADIM can continue to create a much-needed safe space where a community can grow and thrive whilst providing essential free, specialized care to those living with Duchenne and support their families at critical milestones and the wider muscular dystrophy community in Southern Brazil.