My Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor
Day Telethon will turn your $10 into lifesaving research, medical
clinics, wheelchairs, support groups, summer camp for kids—in short,
your $10 will bring help and hope to thousands of people affected by
muscular dystrophy and related diseases. Just try getting that kind of
satisfaction at the gas pump.
The good news about muscle disease—the
news I’m going to be spreading across the land this Labor Day weekend
is this: We can do something about it now. You and me.
Research progress is picking up speed at
an ever-increasing pace. Scientists are making headway on therapies and
cures for diseases that have devastated families for centuries. One of
the most notable examples is the 2006 approval by the Food and Drug
Administration of the enzyme replacement therapy Myozyme for children
with Pompe disease. You want proof that Muscular Dystrophy
Association-supported research is a good investment? How about this:
Children are alive today who would not be here without this treatment.
The hot news this year is Duchenne
Muscular Dystrophy research. DMD, which is caused by a lack of the
protein dystrophin, often snuffs out lives in young adulthood. But two
promising therapies currently being developed by MDA-supported
scientists basically trick flawed genes into producing usable
dystrophin. More dystrophin, more muscle strength—and hopefully more
years in which young men with DMD can enjoy their lives.
These are the sorts of rewards Telethon
dollars reap—and it’s only the beginning. Spine-tingling progress is
being made in many of the 40-plus diseases covered by MDA.
Every Labor Day weekend for more than
four decades, I’ve asked the American public to help me raise $1 more
than we raised the year before for MDA and the good work it does. We’ve
brought out singers, comedians, family members, big blue dancing
bears—all to capture your attention and say, “Hey! Your pledge will
make a big difference in the lives of my kids!”
I want to thank you from the bottom of
my heart for making that difference. The research progress, the
emotional, medical and financial support for people coping with these
diseases—none of that would be possible without the ongoing generosity
of people like you.
So buddy, can you spare a ten? I promise
you I’ll put it to good use. And instead of driving someplace and using
up all that gas this Labor Day weekend, stay home, pull up a chair and
join me on the Telethon. Together, we just might make another miracle.
National Chairman of the Muscular