Volunteer Testimonials

“Ever since this Walk was started it has been the highlight of my year. It helps me focus on what’s important. It is so crucial for me to know I am doing what I can to make Landon’s life the best it can be. The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy has played a huge part in making that possible. It is my hope the money we raise will go towards finding a cure now, as well as helping those already affected. The day of the Walk itself is a time to get together, share stories, and support one another. Rain, shine or even snow! Being there with other people who have been touched by neuromuscular disorders is very encouraging for me. I am not alone in this. Set your goals high!”

– Kelsey,
a mother from Calgary

“Being involved in Chapter activities has helped me realize that I am a fortunate individual for having the ability to maintain my standard of life. Being able to assist those who come to the Chapter for help is exceptionally rewarding.”

– Dan,
member of a Volunteer Chapter and person with a neuromuscular disorder

“Everyone reacts differently to a diagnosis; some want information and others need more time to process the diagnosis. I think the volunteers with the Chapters and the Muscular Dystrophy Canada staff all do a great job of meeting those needs by being there when the time is right and the families are looking to connect.”

– Debra,
member of a Volunteer Chapter and parent of a child with a neuromuscular disorder

“Thank you very much!! Never have I felt so welcome and at home. You have made it possible for me to learn and grow.”

– Cassandra,
person with a neuromuscular disorder

“Thank you so much for your hard work on behalf of many, many grateful people affected by muscle weakness… And thanks so much for your financial support in aid of our needs.”

– Mother of a child with a neuromuscular disorder

“Hi, my name is Martin Juneau and I’m a volunteer. For many years now, I’ve had a degenerative neuromuscular disorder (Charcot-Marie-Thoot) which makes my life a little more complicated; but I have a great deal of knowledge and life experience. I love life, I’m happy and I want to share it all with as many people as I can. Volunteering brings me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction; it’s my reward. For a long time, I worked like a madman at a paying job and I can honestly say that I’ve never been so fulfilled as when I devote my time, my experience and my energy to an activity or a cause that I care about and that can benefit others. Now, because I’m sick, I can’t hold a regular paying job in today’s world, and it’s hard to feel valued and useful outside of these paying occupations. Fortunately, there’s volunteering because even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can always contribute and that’s what matters. Volunteering allows you to do all kinds of things that otherwise wouldn’t get done due to lack of time or money. Without these tasks, many organizations would have a hard time reaching their goals in a financial environment that’s more and more constrained. Thanks to these activities, I can not only continue to feel useful to others, but I can also help organizations like Muscular Dystrophy Canada who, without volunteers, would have a really hard time reaching their goals. For the past several years, I’ve been representing Muscular Dystrophy Canada on various provincial advocacy committees; I also participate in awareness activities and, over the last little while, I’ve been working with Pascale Rousseau, Director of Services, on an awareness project in schools. For me, volunteering is one of the rare, inexhaustible, valuable and most essential resources in our society. All of this to say: thank you for letting me share what I am.”

– Martin Juneau

Francine Desrosiers’ life was turned upside down at age 12 when she learned that she had facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, a disorder that affects the skeletal muscles. Her fondest wish was to be just like other little girls her age and to have the same dreams, but doctors told her the opposite: this rare disease will leave her disabled and unable to have children. Embarrassed by her disability, she instinctively withdrew into herself. She felt that people no longer looked at her the same way. She was afraid of being judged because she often fell because the disease had started to affect her legs. Nevertheless, life had good things in store for her. She met a young man who became her life partner. Despite learning that she could have children after all, they decided not to have any. She studied secretarial accounting and worked as a medical secretary for 17 years. What she appreciated most was the human contact with her coworkers. But as the disease progressed, Francine realized she could no longer work when she fell one day on her way to work because of exhaustion. Once again, she felt isolated and missed having human contact. She then decided to take dancing and swimming lessons at the Lucie-Bruneau Centre. Her occupational therapist told her about Muscular Dystrophy Canada and Francine decided to become a volunteer for the association where she’s been in charge of the resource centre for the past six years. Muscular Dystrophy Canada provided her with financial support for her massage therapy needs and to pay for her courses at the Lucie-Bureau Centre, but what she appreciates most is that volunteering helps alleviate her isolation and greatly enhances her sense of self-worth. She says it brings her a lot more than she expected and she appreciates it… Her only regret is not finding out about Muscular Dystrophy Canada sooner. Today, she shares two passions – wine and music – with her partner of over 20 years. Her life’s philosophy? Live life to the fullest and age like a good wine. She hopes that as she gets older, she’ll become more valuable!

– Francine Desrosiers

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