How It Began
In order for any organization to be formed, there must be a need. To be successful in filling the need, the organization must have strong leadership, and clear goals, in addition to a fueling passion. All of these apply to the forming of The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada (renamed Muscular Dystrophy Canada in 2003.)
Two good friends, Arthur Minden, who ran a law practice that grew to be a prominent firm, and Dr. David Green, an Otolaryngologist as well as a plastic surgeon, became aware of the need for research and resources for those with neuromuscular disorders when Dr. Green’s son was diagnosed at the age of seven with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Mr. Minden also had a son the same age, and wondered why Dr. Green’s son and not mine? It was hard to know that one boy had the whole world in front of him, while the other did not. Mr. Minden and Dr. Green, together with other friends and families with the same goals of finding a cure or control for neuromuscular disorders formed the MDAC in 1954. First meetings were held in the founders’ homes, and together they grew the organization with passion and dedication to the cause. The mission that drove the organization’s work, and still does, is to enhance the lives of those affected by neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well funded research.
Mr. Minden was the President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada from its inception in 1954, through to the ten year anniversary in 1964. He brought Canadian Fire Fighters on board with our mission. Fire Fighters have remained our number one supporters through all our 60 years. Mr. Minden was also instrumental in connecting Jerry Lewis to the Canadian Association, paving the way for the Labour Day Telethon to be broadcasted in Canada. Mr. Minden became Chairman of the Board until his passing in 1966.
Dr. Green acted as Vice-President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada from its founding until 1962. Dr. Green took on the challenge of introducing the MDAC into a market that many felt was already overrun with charities; however, a few years later in 1958, MDAC was recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 health organizations. After this period, Dr. Green became President of MDAC after Mr. Minden retired from the position, and took over the Chairman of the Board position after Mr. Minden’s passing until 1976. During his period of being Chairman of the Board (1966-1976) beginning in 1967, Dr. Green was also the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board. In 2002, Dr. Green was awarded with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to Canadian society. Dr. Green passed away in 2007. In 2010, the National Awards were re-named the Dr. David Green Awards, and they are rewarded to showcase the contributions of individuals or groups who inspire, motivate, and share their commitment with others, and foster Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s vision, mission, and values.