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There were tests and eventually a diagnosis, facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, which is caused by a missing piece of DNA on chromosome 4.

“To a person that age, that’s out of left field,” Carrino said. “Muscular dystrophy, you think of as the Jerry Lewis telethon and the poor little kids who have Duchenne’s (dystrophy). But that’s one of the many forms of MD and you find out there is something called FSHD, and you’re diagnosed with it and you find out there is no cure, no treatment and nothing they can do.”

Carrino avoided being around other people with the disease.

“I didn’t want to see what I might be like in 10 years,” he said.

So Carrino focused on his career while his body gradually lost strength, something that affected his self esteem because it left him needing help at times with simple things like putting a bag in an overhead bin.

Even work-related functions aren’t so easy. Talking to a player on the bench before the game usually gives journalists insight. It can be troublesome for Carrino because the benches tend to be lower than a chair and it’s difficult for him to get back on his feet.

His most frustrating incident was a game in Delaware, where he had to broadcast from the top of the stadium. There was no elevator and a producer had to help him up every step, and down after the game.

“I never went back there again,” he said.

Carrino, who joined the Nets on a part-time basis in 1992, succeeded though. He worked as the backup radio announcer to Bob Papa for three years before getting the No. 1 job in 2001.

He will wrap up his 10th season on Wednesday night when the Nets face the Bulls in Chicago.

After that, his focus will be on the foundation, which is a collaboration with Jennifer Burgess of Massapequa Park, N.Y. She had an existing FSHD foundation and the two joined forces and used Carrino’s name on the foundation.

“We feel like we have to take this in our own hands and try to do something about this,” Carrino said. “We’re in it for the long haul, planning events, trying to raise as much money as we can and get some progress going for us.”

The Nets are stepping up to help Carrino. And he hopes some companies and friends lend their support.

“I want to be an example for kids who are going to be diagnosed,” he said, “and who don’t know that dreams they had as an 8-year-old can be accomplished, as long as its something of a physical nature.”