Video: A sporting chance with brittle bones disease

Video: A sporting chance with brittle bones disease

To commemorate Youth Month in June, Health-e News is broadcasting a five-part adolescent health series on Morning Live (SABC 2). This insert – the second in the series – follows Mduduzi Nkosi, a youth who suffers from brittle bones disease.

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Mduduzi Nkosi suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta – more commonly known as ‘brittle bones disease’. People with Osteogeneisis Imperfecta are born with a deficiency in or an inability to produce Type 1 Collagen. Collagen acts as the reinforcing rods during the construction of bones in our bodies. Without this connective tissue, bones are left very weak. As a result, Nkosi is now permanently wheelchair bound.

Getting used to life in a wheelchair has been a process for Nkosi. “My emotions was very challenged because, you know, if you experience walking before then you heard you are no longer going to be walking you are going to be with wheelchair it’s a challenge and sometimes you think a lot of things – now I am no longer going to be independent but its not like that. When time goes on I realised that I can still do some of the things on my own,” Nkosi told Health-e News.

People with Osteogenesis Imperfecta are encouraged to engage in sport because it promotes bone and muscle strength. Nkosi has taken up wheelchair tennis. The sport has not only improved his muscle strength but has also boosted his confidence and given him a positive attitude towards life. “Playing tennis is inspires me to do more. Now I involve myself in many things where I thought I cannot cope but you find out that I can manage because of tennis,” said Nkosi

This video was originally broadcast on Morning Live (SABC 2) on 8 June 2015