In 2009, Nichloas Rauber, DDS, was named among the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report’s 40 Under 40, recognizing his achievements as both an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Dr. Nick Rauber has been a founding member of multiple charities, beginning with the Swollfest fishing rodeo in 1997, which has grown to raise over a million dollars to date on behalf of several organizations. The Muscular Dystrophy Association is one such beneficiary, which is unsurprising considering that the impetus for his philanthropy was an experience at an MDA summer camp, where he saw the effects of muscular dystrophy firsthand.
Muscular dystrophy can take many forms, but they share similar causes and symptoms - each results from a specific gene, and produces varying degrees of muscle weakness. At the MDA camp, Nick cared for one young man in particular who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common form of the disease, which normally affects boys starting at two to three years of age. Other relatively frequent forms include Becker muscular dystrophy, which is similar to Duchenne but typically begins showing symptoms during adolescence or early adulthood, and Steinert’s disease, which is the most common form among adults, resulting in the inability to relax muscles after contracting them.
There is currently no cure for muscular dystrophy, but several treatments have been developed that can allow those with this disease to have active and independent lives much longer than they might otherwise. Corticosteroids can help delay the development of the disease by bolstering muscle strength, and a regimen of low-impact exercises can help maintain strength and flexibility. Support for weakened muscles and mobility assistance can also be offered by braces, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs, which can often be provided by the MDA’s National Equipment Program and its generous supporters.