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2017 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Highlights

 

Highlights From Your 2017 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

 

Hello Walkers!

It is my pleasure to get to share with you the results from this year’s Walk for Muscular Dystrophy! In the video you’re about to watch, we’ve highlighted incredible spirit and participation from coast to coast.

We are proud to say that together, we hit our milestone of 1.3 million dollars raised! This money goes directly to support families dealing with the challenges of living with a neuromuscular disorder. It supports cutting-edge research that is making leaps towards finding a cure, compassionate programs and services and funds equipment applications to empower clients. These supports make a huge difference in the lives of our families.

The Walk is an important fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, but it is also an opportunity for our supporters and community members alike to come together and strengthen the bond we all share. It is a chance for families, individuals, teams, volunteers and Fire Fighters to come together in a shared experience, walking, wheeling, and rolling to raise funds for a cause that we all hold close to our hearts.

The incredible work and enthusiasm you show each and every year ignites our passion and gives us the motivation to keep growing, while bringing new people into our community. We are thrilled with the 2017 Walk results, and we know that with you on our team, we can do even more next year!

Please know your support means the world to our community and we look forward to welcoming you to a Walk in 2018!

Now, for the highlights!

Starting in Newfoundland and Labrador, a big highlight was the participation of Team Roberts and others, who grew the Corner Brook walk by 100%.

On Prince Edward Island, we had a sea of blue as RBC turned up in big numbers to show their support!

In New Brunswick, Serge Lanteigne led the charge and became the top fundraiser in Atlantic Canada with a personal total of $19,970! Incredible work Serge!

And finally, rounding out the Atlantic provinces, the Halifax chapter held a gaming night that raised more than $4,000 dollars pushing the Halifax Walk total over $65,000 making it the top walk in the region!

In Quebec, we had a great turnout with almost 400 participants across the province. The Keindel Family and Friends were the top team raising $11,374!

Over to Ontario where the Peel Walk for MD had not only the largest fundraising total for an Ontario Walk this year, but was the largest Ontario Walk total ever! Congratulations to everyone who was involved in raising more than $70,000! Amazing!

In Manitoba, our Walks continued to grow with more than 200 people coming out to the Winnipeg Walk, the most we have ever had in that region!

It was a record year in Saskatchewan as well, bringing in a total of $87,721 dollars, the highest total to date!

In Alberta, Erin’s Squad led the charge again with an incredible $56,255 dollars raised, making them the highest fundraising team in Canada for the second year in a row! What an incredible accomplishment.

And last but not least, in British Columbia, four of the teams were in the top 10 fundraising teams across Canada! Special shout out to Thee Golden Spirits, MMR and Friends, Team Party Hardy, and Devon’s Dino Team!

We are so proud of the amazing accomplishments that all of our participants achieved in 2017 and the impact they have had on our community. Your passion and enthusiasm for Muscular Dystrophy Canada means that more Canadian lives are impacted each and every year. For that, we send you our heartfelt thanks and gratitude, and can’t wait to see what you will achieve in 2018! Keep on Walking Canada!

My First Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

My sister, me, and two of my co-workers

My sister, me, and two of my co-workers

On the third of May, I experienced my first Walk for Muscular Dystrophy! I was excited to finally attend one of the events that my colleagues had been working so hard on. My sister and I volunteered to help with registration at the Toronto, Ontario Walk4MD, along with some of my coworkers and other friendly volunteers.

We arrived bright and early to Cherry Beach Park, a lovely spot along the downtown waterfront. We went over our jobs for the day, then sat down and waited for the participants to arrive. Though it was a cold day, we gave smiles and received them right back from each person who came to the registration desk!

It was great to see how many people came out – those who come 14305684313_c9ed6250f7_zyear after year, and the many first timers like me! Something new to this Walk was the tea and coffee tent, where people gathered and were able to interact over a nice hot drink.

I was inspired to hear the Master of Ceremonies Christina Massad speak, along with the Toronto Walk Ambassador Warren Jones, and Honorary Chairperson of the Toronto Walk, Anthony Farnell. I was hoping that having Anthony – who is the Chief Meteorologist  at Global News – and Storm the Weather Dog at the Walk would keep the rain away.. but it rained anyways. The good thing was that the rain didn’t last very long! (more…)

Your Wounds Are Part Of Who You Are

‘Bad things happen to good people.’ It’s a phrase I have heard dozens of times in my life. It’s also a phrase that I hoped would stay clear of my family, my friends, and myself. However, sometimes you can’t stay clear forever. This blog is quite the exact opposite of my last one, a total 360. The reason being, there is no way you could ever measure a happy life without sadness in the picture; happiness would lose its meaning.

Everyone tells you to think positive, and you will have a happier and healthier life. As children, we make lemonade, and are taught to see the glass have full. But, there are moments that can change everything. We learn at a young age to buckle our seatbelts, to wear a helmet, and look both ways before we cross the street. We do our best. But sometimes, it makes no difference. Bad things come… and they come out of nowhere. There is no warning. This past summer, my sister had a terrible accident, a close family friend, and aunt died, and I had an accident at work. It was just one hit after the other. I felt like I was getting the wind knocked out of me, while I was still on the ground struggling to pick myself up from the last hit. Usually when something bad happens that affects me, I shake it off. Pretend it’s not there and pay no attention to it. Would it do any good anyway? But, you do need to heal. You need to feel your feelings, things need to be said and you need to go through the whole process, whatever it may be. To allow yourself to heal, you need to be a victim for a moment. After that, you are what you choose to become.

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When Amanda Met Justin

Photo courtesy of Amanda Renneberg

You may have heard about the lucky girl from Sherwood Park, Alberta who was finally able to meet her idol, Justin Timberlake, after months of garnering support on her Facebook page.

Amanda Renneberg – the lucky girl in question – is 27 years old, and is affected by Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA.)

“It’s probably pretty obvious that my life has not completely turned out how I hoped and dreamed it would, but really, who can say their life has traveled this journey exactly how they thought it should? I was diagnosed at 18 with FA. Friedreich’s Ataxia  has drastically changed my life. I choose to deal with things as they come, so future expectations would not hinder me from living a meaningful life. Every person’s future is unknown to them, regardless of FA, so one day at a time is a very important life philosophy to embrace.”

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Learn to Make Yourself Happy

 Happiness. You can’t fight the feeling when you feel it, and you can’t hide it when  you crave what it used to be. I thought certain aspects of life might tear me down –  especially with what others might think – but I have never allowed myself to be  defined by what other people had to say about who I was. It was through lessons,  and challenging myself that got me to where I am now. I learned to put myself first.  Yes, sometimes there are individuals who see my flaws, and perceive them as  something they don’t want to deal with –it’s just easier that way. Unfortunately, I  cannot walk away from myself, and I’m not sure I ever would. I am able to accept my  weaknesses, and nobody can use that against me. I know who I am, and who I am  not. Yes, we all want to be accepted, and loved. But it has to start with yourself.

I want you to be happy. I want you to not rush getting a mortgage, getting married,  or growing up. When I was younger, all I wanted was to grow up. I wanted to wear  make-up, and drive a car and feel the wind blowing in my hair. Now, I’d trade  everything to start over, and appreciate those days spent making snow forts, and  eating popsicles. You can’t go back, but you can step back. When I stepped back, I  had a chance to see what I could not see before. I saw what was worth fighting for, I felt my life get brighter, and at the same time I felt my heart become emptier. I found kindness where I did not even know it existed. So have patience in today, in tomorrow. Learn to love yourself, even within in the things you cannot change.

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