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Firefighters fight for Muscular Dystrophy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Aug. 30 Viola Firefighters helped raise money for Jerry's Kids in the Fill the Boot campaign to fund research for muscular dystrophy. The fire department raised over $800. Photo by Emily McIntosh
Imagine a playground or a park on a beautiful day where kids are laughing and playing in a joyous celebration of life. One child, however, is strapped to a wheelchair, unable to move. His small weak arms hang loosely over the arms of the chair. He sees the other children enjoying their day and wants to join them. His mother, father or caregiver wheels him over to the giant sandbox where some other kids are making sand castles and forts. Someone, a passerby, asks him if he is enjoying his day. The child weakly nods his head and forces a smile to come to his face because his body will not allow him to reply in any other way. If he could talk he probably would have said, "Yes, I'm having a good day, even though my body is in so much pain that you most likely can't imagine it. It is good to be here while I still live." This is an example of what many children with muscular dystrophy experience every day.

Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a genetic disorder that weakens the muscles of the body. In this case, the body does not produce enough proteins to strengthen the muscles, so they gradually get weaker and weaker. There is no cure for MD, but doctors and scientists are steadily working on research and a possible cure.

Both children and adults can have MD. Even though many who suffer from MD put on a brave face, they still need hope. That's where Jerry's Kids and the Fill the Boot campaign come in.

Over the Labor Day weekend area fire departments stopped at busy highways, intersections and parking lots to "fill the boot" for Jerry's Kids, which is an organization that raises money for muscular dystrophy research.

The Viola Fire Department held their fundraiser Aug. 30 at the intersection of Highways 62/412 and 223.

"The donations have steadily increased over the past several years," Viola Fire Department's Assistant Chief and Muscular Dystrophy Association Fill the Boot coordinator, Charlene Crowl, said. "With over $800 in donations last year, we're working our way to a goal of $1,000 from our area to help fight more than 40 neuromuscular diseases. That would be a fantastic show of support from our community for these deserving children."

According to the Viola Fire Department, firefighters were able to raise over $800 for Jerry's Kids.

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