Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Last Friday I attended an event hosted by Dr. Mike Lawlor, Ph.D. and Stacy Cossette of the Congenital Muscle Disease - Tissue Repository (CMD-TR) located at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The Congenital Muscle Disease - Tissue Repository is a project that Where There's A Will There's A Cure has helped to fund.

They invited local CMD (Congenital Muscle Disease) families for an afternoon at their lab. The event included information about tissue donation and subsequent research use, a tour of the facility, a presentation on animal model treatment trials, microscopic specimen viewing and the opportunity to meet the people who continue to support treatment discovery.

Dr. Meng, Jenny Tinklenberg, Dr. Lawlor, Wayne Cossette, Sharon Brunette, Melanie Whiston, 
Stacy Cossette, M Lucinda Ladwig, Katie Mitchell and Patty Mitchell

What is the Congenital Muscle Disease Tissue Repository?
Basically, it is a place to safely store muscle or body tissues that is run by one of the leading muscle disease researchers and his highly skilled and committed staff. The CMD-TR stores left over tissue from a muscle biopsy, routine surgery or autopsy.
The slides of the tissues can then by accessed by the leading researchers from around the world as they work towards viable treatments for people affected by muscle disease.

Last summer, I consented to have whatever was left over from William's muscle biopsy sent to the CMD-TR for safe keeping.  It was an easy process on my end.  I simply contacted Stacy and signed the consent.  The CMD-TR now has a block of tissue from William's muscle biopsy which was done back in November of 2011 safely stored in a freezer set at -80 degrees Celsius. (Included is a picture of the freezer.)
During Dr. Lawlor's presentation an interesting conversation emerged about who's tissue may be of scientific interest. The families that joined me at the event are affected by another congenital myopathy called Nemaline Myopathy.  Their community is encouraging parents and even grandparents of affected individuals to donate any left over muscle tissue if for some reason they undergo a surgery. I then became curious and asked the question if there is an interest to collect samples from MTM carriers. The answer was yes, they are interested in tissue samples of both parents of individuals affected by MTM. The explanation was that is it of scientific interest to collect samples of the parents because as research progresses and more questions and answers emerge, it is easier to access data previously collected then to find out that that data is needed and then try to collect it. I found this information interesting and wanted to share in case anyone in our MTM community may have a surgery planed where leftover tissue may be able to be collected.

To learn how you can donate tissue to the CMD-TR, contact Stacy Cossette.
Thank you to Dr. Mike Lawlor and Stacy Cossette for hosting such an amazing event for local CMD families. I had a wonderful time learning about the CMD-TR and the exciting medical research for both Myotubular Myopathy and Nemaline Myopathy. 

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