KYLE, Texas (KXAN) - There is nothing like good times playing outside with good friends for 10-year-old Amadeo Andrade.
"I usually win hide and seek," said Amadeo. "That's probably because I am so small and I can almost fit into any spot."
However sometimes playing can be a challenge for Amadeo when his muscles slow down. He was diagnosed with Becker muscular dystrophy when he was 5. Becker muscular dystrophy is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles.
"It was really hard in the first grade and pre-K, mostly because I didn't really understand what was happening and I couldn't do all of the things the other kids could do," he said.
Now he is surrounded by other children and their support. He has dozens of friends at his school, Negley elementary in Kyle, who together are called "Amadeo's Army." They walk in the Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual Muscle Walk and raise thousands of dollars for MDA each year.
The constant support has also raised Amadeo's spirit. With the help of his friends, family and the doctors at his MDA Clinic, he is fighting back against Becker muscular dystrophy.
He also wants to help other people with muscle disease fight back. Amadeo is Central Texas' Goodwill Ambassador for MDA. He has not missed an event.
He has ridden on a Harley Davidson, looked inside fire trucks and stopped by store after store to simply say thanks for the help raising money. He also loves MDA Summer Camp and helping other friends at camp who may need a hand.
Now he wants to be the Texas MDA Goodwill Ambassador. He wants all of Texas to hear his message. First, we all need good friends. His two best friends, Abby Percy and Samuel Rajnoch, have been by his side since they were infants.
"Really I just want to spend time with him and help him be encouraged so he doesn't feel down," said Abby.
"He's kind of like a brother to me -- like my other brother," said Samuel.
The other part of his message is this. If all of us would give just a little to support MDA research and programs, we could beat muscle diseases altogether.
"Hopefully some day they will find a cure for muscular dystrophy," Amadeo said. "I just really hope other kids who have muscular dystrophy can get through it... make it through the wait."
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