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Archive: October, 2012

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Walk for Muscular Dystrophy volunteers share their stories for HealthPartners

Though the summer might be over, it does not stop Ontario Walk for Muscular Dystrophy volunteers in their efforts to raise awareness about the annual event. Throughout the year, these volunteers work hard to spread the word, and for three of them, that effort includes taking time to speak publicly about the Walk and to share their personal stories.

HealthPartners is an organization made up of 16 national health charities that work together to raise funds through workplace giving.  Every September, HealthPartners begins their annual Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign which offers the opportunity to have volunteers from these 16 charities speak at various events.

This fall, three Muscular Dystrophy Canada volunteers attended separate events to speak about our organization and how and why they are involved.

In Toronto, Gail Ward volunteered to speak to a group of Via Rail employees to share her story. Gail is a member of the Toronto Walk planning committee and participates in the Walk along with her Team Sip & Do teammates of family and friends.

“I agreed to speak in order to tell my story about our son on behalf of the many Muscular Dystrophy Canada families, hoping that it might make a positive difference to their fundraising efforts remembering David and how Muscular Dystrophy Canada helped him on many fronts throughout his life,” she said.

In Whitby, Brad Miller spoke to employees of the local CRA. Brad has been a part of the Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Planning committee for the past two years and has participated since 2010.

“I really enjoyed being given the opportunity to speak on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. As a Canadian living with Muscular Dystrophy I agreed to share my story because raising awareness about the issues we face is important to me,” said Brad. “Another reason why I think it is important to share my story is to help gain support for Muscular Dystrophy Canada so they can continue enhancing the lives of Canadians like myself who are living with muscular dystrophy. The main hope I have is that sharing my story will somehow help to make a difference in the lives of everyone affected by neuromuscular disorders.”

In St. Catharines, Brian Mino took the time to share his family’s story. In 2012, Brian joined the Niagara  Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy planning committee and brings his family and friends on event day to create the largest team there.

Of this speaking opportunity, he said “I decided to speak about Muscular Dystrophy Canada to share my story with others to help raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy and the support our family receives [from them].  We all need to work together as a community to improve the quality of life while fighting disabling and life-threatening diseases.  The donations that Muscular Dystrophy Canada and HealthPartners receives helps provide caring support to these Canadians [and] can bring better health – and hope – to people in our communities”

Get more information about the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy or HealthPartners.

Living with a Disability – Health and Wellness Days in Atlantic Canada

Muscular Dystropy Canada and March of Dimes have been teaming up across Canada to hold Health and Wellness Information Days for people living with a disability. This time we hit the Eastern part of the country holding two events in New Brunswick in Moncton and Saint John on September 25 and 27, 2012.

These days were kick started with a motivational moment by Yvon LeBlanc. His presentation was very inspiring as he shared his beautiful paintings and his desire to run again after his stroke that it even drew a few tears not only from Yvon, but also from some of those in attendance. His message of ‘Say Thank You’ was touching and important for all to receive. You can check him out on YouTube.

Both days were filled with a variety of workshops, everything from respiratory care, health services, emergency preparedness, New Brunswick Employment, Disability Support Program, advocacy and even sodium.  The Heart and Stroke foundation session made you think twice about what you put in your mouth. The March of Dimes accessible travel support workshop is upcoming in Moncton if you are interested in accessible travel check. I think they head out on a Hawaiian island cruise next!

Two packed full days of vital information and great speakers and an amazing opportunity for networking across disabilities! People came from as far as Nova Scotia! With the amazing response, we are hoping to continue this series next year in PEI, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We’ll keep you posted.

Asha Noel-Hart works for Muscular Dystrophy Canada as a Services Support in Atlantic Region.

Innovative fundraiser inspires an online community

Do you like playing online games? Keith Knight does, and this past week he turned that passion into a fundraiser which exceeded his wildest expectations.  In one of the most creative fundraising techniques we’ve seen, Keith raised over $5100 in only 11 hours by playing video games and streaming it online! Keith raised funds for the Surrey Safeway Walk for Muscular Dystrophy, which was September 22, 2012.  His final total ended up being over $7500 raised for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Keith started a Vlog to explain his fundraising efforts to the many people who saw his streaming video and supported his cause.  In the Vlog he also explains how he plays his favourite games.  Keith has muscular dystrophy and has adapted the way he plays computer games to fit his abilities.

Keith was a participant at the Youth in Action conference held in August as well as a recent recipient of a Canada Safeway Moving Muscles Scholarship.  He used his experience at YIA to encourage his online donors, many of whom are complete strangers, by promising to share a video of himself trying break dancing during the YIA dance party after a performance and some encouragement from Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli.

Keith combined a few of his interests to fundraise for the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy, and the online community responded to his efforts.  You never know what you’ll get back when you put yourself out there.  Great job Keith!

What are your passions? How could you turn Keith’s inspiring actions into a plan to help your favourite cause?

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