The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has launched its 2017 “Live Unlimited” awareness and fundraising campaign. Running until Oct. 11, it targets families affected by muscular dystrophy (MD) and other neuromuscular diseases, and aims to help patients pursue their personal and professional goals.
This year’s campaign features inspiring examples:
Christopher Perez, 11, along with his family, has set up the team “Christopher’s Cruizers” for the upcoming MDA Muscle Walk in Los Angeles, on Sept. 30. Christopher, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), is teaming up with his community to raise funds to help the more than 100,000 children and adults registered with MDA live more “unlimited” moments.
Justin Skeesuck and his best friend, Patrick Gray, both of Boise, Idaho, recently completed the 500-mile trail known as the Camino de Santiago from France through Spain. Their trip is the subject of a new book and TV documentary, “I’ll Push You,” to air Nov. 2 across the United States. Justin has multifocal acquired motor axonopathy (MAMA).
“Living — and thriving — with muscular dystrophy, ALS [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis] and related diseases isn’t a one-person effort,” said Skeesuck. “Neither is the quest for scientific discoveries and treatments. A large community makes the possibility of living unlimited a reality.”
Sophia Spooner, a hiker and Illinois native, recently took a “little stroll” on the Pacific Coast Trail for nearly six months to honor her father, Ray Spooner, who died Aug. 8, 2016, from ALS. Shortly after his diagnosis, in 2014, he had completed a cross-country cycling tour called “Ray’s Little Ride,” raising over $80,000 for MDA. Sophia’s initial goal was $10,000, but she soon increased it to $25,000.
“MDA’s Live Unlimited campaign highlights three amazing stories and their remarkable efforts to live life to the fullest,” MDA’s interim president and CEO, Kristine Welker, said in a press release. “No matter who you are, where you live or what you care about, we all want to live without limits — those we sometimes place on ourselves and those defined by others.”
Welker added: “MDA’s mission is to save and improve the lives of those affected by neuromuscular disease and ultimately make more live unlimited moments possible for our families. As we’ll see in each story the support of family, friends and community is what makes this mission possible.”