What comes to mind when you think of muscle disease? Ice bucket challenges (here are our videos)? Jerry Lewis telethons? Buying shamrocks at the store? Firefighters with boots full of donations? Or perhaps you think of this speech by Lou Gehrig, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, as he took his leave from baseball one sunny Fourth of July in Yankee Stadium:
They are all, in one way or another, part of the MDA family—and all of the work that is being done for families living with muscle disease—but what is muscle disease?
Here is a very simple answer to that complex question (from MDA.org):
The majority of diseases under MDA’s umbrella are caused by genetic factors. All result in progressive muscle weakness. Symptoms can range from mild muscle weakness to complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles, including those used for breathing and swallowing. Among these diseases, the age of onset varies from birth to adulthood, and life span after diagnosis can be as short as a year or as long as several decades.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association raises funds and awareness for an amazing number of muscle diseases, and they are able to do so thanks to the participation and donations of people like you. Yes, you.
And also people like my mother. She worked at MDA headquarters in Tucson, Arizona for 22 years before her untimely passing in an accident last year. The families in the MDA community were an incredible part of her life, and through her they have become an important part of mine. Make them a part of yours.
There are many helpful links on the official MDA website that can help you volunteer, donate, and find the support you need.
The majority of information presented on this page is shared from MDA.org.