If Jack Wolf was a super hero, his therapy dog, Tommy, would be his side kick.
Tommy helps Jack, who lives with muscular dystrophy and gets around in a wheelchair, maintain his independence. The pair go everywhere together—even to and summer camp. Tommy helps pick up Jack's laundry, open doors and take off his socks and shoes.
Jack's always been an advocate for promoting awareness about the disease he was diagnosed with in 2005. When he attended and the , his class raised the most money.
His enthusiasm to raise awareness about muscular dystrophy hasn't gone unnoticed. It landed him the honor of being named this year's Ohio goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
In his role for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, he is serving as the face of the state branch of the association, helping to raise awareness of muscular dystrophy. Jack said he and his family have always done a lot for the association, attending events and helping to raise money.
Jack's work and his family's support is why the organization chose him to be its goodwill ambassador this year, said Jackie Simcic-Becker, local director of health care services. The entire Wolf family really raises awareness to the work the association does in Ohio, she said.
His 5th-grade teacher, Nancy Reeves, said Tommy was great to have in class, an ambitious student who strived to be independent. "He's an awesome kid," Reeves said.
Muscular dystrophy causes muscles to wear themselves out, said Jack's father, Brian Wolf. Typically, people’s bodies tear and rebuild muscle as they work out. Jack's muscles don’t rebuild themselves, so they weaken over time. As a child, his parents noticed that Jack was developing slower than his younger brother, Mark. He had trouble keeping up with physical activities at his preschool. Eventually, a physical therapist recognized the signs, and he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Jack's mother, Karen, said it was a devastating diagnosis at first, but now the family lives for each day. Jack is encouraged to live each day to its fullest, experiencing as much as he can.