The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is gathering the support of local communities throughout the country for another season of the MDA Muscle Walk. During this annual event, thousands of people come together to help raise both funding and awareness to help improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
The MDA Muscle Walk gathers the community of patients, families, volunteers, donors, sponsors and other partners in one of the largest fundraising events in the US. The association is hosting nearly 150 walks this year, with the first kicking off last Saturday, February 28 at the MDA Muscle Walk of Austin, Texas.
“MDA Muscle Walk events unite and rally communities to raise funds and accelerate progress for people whose abilities to move are compromised — including everyday abilities like walking, running, hugging, talking and even breathing,” said MDA president and CEO Steven M. Derks, in a press release. “Support from sponsors and participants helps MDA assist families facing the challenges that muscle disease brings, maintain independence and invest in state-of-the-art scientific research for treatments and cures.”
The funding raised in the MDA Muscle Walk events are invested in scientific projects to accelerate the search for more effective treatments and a cure for muscle diseases, as well as support groups and clinics that can help improve the lives of patients. In addition, the association also hosts a summer camp for children with muscle disease at almost 80 U.S. sites.
The 2014 MDA Muscle Walk gathered over 40,000 participants in 140 walks, which resulted in the highest amount ever raised, $8.5 million. The program has already raised over $26 million since it was launched in 2011 with help from online sports nutrition store BodyBuilding.com, rehab products producer and seller Pride Mobility Products Corporation, and the novel wheelchair provider Numotion.
The president and CEO of the MDA firmly believes in the importance and cumulative impact of individual involvement, so that the association can help support both patients and research on treatment for the disease. More information and registrations are available at the website of the event here, as well as on its Facebook page here.
MDA has also recently partnered up with Lowe’s stores in order to launch the MDA’s Shamrock program, the largest St. Patrick’s Day philanthropic event dedicated to helping patients who live with the disabling muscle disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The FORTUNE 100 home improvement company, which has already supported the association on other occasions, has once again engaged in a campaign with the association to support their activities on March 30.