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The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy is growing in Ontario!

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This year, 17 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events will be taking place in Ontario and you can participate and make a difference. This family-friendly, fully accessible event is the perfect opportunity to make new friends and build connections.

Here’s what’s new in 2013.

Simcoe Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Date: Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Location: Centennial Park in Barrie

Time: Registration at 10:00 am, Walk begins at 11:00 am

 

Sarnia Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Date: Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Location: Canatara Park in Sarnia

Time: Registration at 10:00 am, Walk begins at 11:00 am

 

Eastern Ontario Walk for Muscular Dystrophy (Including Napanee, Belleville, Kingston and surrounding areas)

Date: Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Location: Conservation Park Pavilion in Napanee

Time: Registration at 10:00 am, Walk begins at 11:00 am

 

Sault Ste Marie Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Date: September 2013, more information coming soon!

For more information or to register for your local Walk for Muscular Dystrophy event, visit our new website www.walkformusculardystrophy.ca.

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.

Comprehensive look at Muscular Dystrophy Canada Services in Ontario

Muscular Dystrophy Canada offers a wide range of services and programs. We are committed to improving the lives of people with neuromuscular disorders.  Services differ in range throughout each region, so while different programs are varied depending on the area, each team of Services staff is dedicated to providing the best support, advocacy, information, education and equipment we can. The following comprehensive look at Services is from the perspective of an Ontario staff member and shares all the many advantages that Ontarians can have as a registered client with Muscular Dystrophy Canada.  Not all the listed information may be accurate for your region, please contact your Services staff to learn more.

Wow I can’t believe that summer is nearly officially over, and in a few short weeks fall will be upon us.  With September being National Awareness Month, what better time than to talk about Services and Supports offered through Muscular Dystrophy Canada in Ontario/Nunavut.

So first let me start my introducing myself, my name is Karen Dunbar and I have been employed as the Service Specialist for Ontario/Nunavut with Muscular Dystrophy Canada since October 2011.  In this position I have the opportunity to work with the service department and together we assist clients and those living with or supporting those living with neuromuscular disorders to live full lives with dignity, trust and respect.

Often I am asked what exactly a service specialist does.  Quite simply my answer is basically anything to assist our clients to get the supports, services and programs they need to the best of our ability.  In order to do this we need to focus on our five pillars which are:  education, equipment, advocacy, support and information.  We endeavour to assist clients find services, funding, supports, programs, etc. in their home communities.  In partnership with those affected by neuromuscular disorders we provide the necessary assistance to help address individual’s specific goals, and needs as well as seek the supports individuals and or their families require within the community.  We are here to listen, to assist in advocacy efforts and to assist

So if we look at the five pillars mentioned above, here is some of the assistance the Service team can provide.  First let’s discuss our equipment funding program.  Did you know that we can assist with the purchase of equipment by offering up to a maximum of $2640.00 towards each piece of needed equipment and or assistive device?  This program is open to anyone registered with Muscular Dystrophy Canada.  The steps are simple, complete a on line application found at www.muscle.ca, have an OT, PT or other designated health professional complete the section describing what type of equipment/assistive device is needed and why, then contact two different vendor’s to get quotes.  Once you have all information mail, fax or email it in for review.

Secondly Support which can include system navigation.  This can include assisting a client to find other sources of funding, apply for government support programs such as ODSP.  It can include helping a family complete an application for funding through Children with Severe Disabilities or Special Services at Home.  These are just a few examples.  We assist by offering support, this can include in community visits, support in finding a doctor or specialist, or clinic, different recreational services or in home health care as needed.  It can also include assisting a person to speak with their doctor or family around supports they need.  It can include assisting someone in getting appropriate supports through our local chapters or networking group or on line if the person is more remotely located.  We are only a telephone call or email away, and are willing to listen and help where we can.

Thirdly advocacy; this can include finding appropriate housing, a dietician or appropriate supports for a child or youth in school.  It can also include working with government to lobby for change.  It can include working with other community service providers to ensure you or your family are receiving the supports you need.  We continue to focus on assisting individuals and or their families to develop and or enhance their self advocacy skills by providing ongoing coaching and guidance so that needs are met on an ongoing basis.

Fourthly we offer support through education.  We have a comprehensive Muscle Facts Program that we present in schools to teach children about neuromuscular disorders.  This is a comprehensive program that covers everything from various disorders, to assistive devices, to acceptance etc.  It is individually developed for the specific school and child.  It is interactive, engaging and informative.  Not only do we offer this program for the youth, but also have one we can provide for the staff and administrators of the school.

And finally information sessions throughout Ontario.  These include guest presenters on everything from nutrition, exercise, respiriology, 72 hr emergency preparedness, wound care, self advocacy, financial planning and so forth.  These are open to service providers and anyone living with or supporting those living with a disability.  They are offered throughout Ontario at different times throughout the year.  The next one is scheduled for October 2012 in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.  If you live in or around this area please contact me for location, date and topics to be covered.

We also support the Chapters by assisting in planning different presenters at their monthly meetings as requested by the members.  If you are looking for an afternoon or evening where you can meet other people who are living with or supporting those living with a neuromuscular disorder why don’t you check out one of our chapter groups.  Currently we offer chapter meetings monthly in Toronto, Ottawa, London and Windsor.  We also offer a Parent Child Networking group in Hamilton.    It is a great place to meet other families and access presentations on various topics from summer camps, to physiotherapy to government programs that offer support.

As you can see, we in the services department are very busy with education, information, equipment, support and advocacy.  Hopefully I have provided a little glimpse of all the supports and services available, however as always we would love to have the chance to speak to you.  Whether you need system navigation support, equipment support or just support or information in general we would love to help.  If you would like to contact us please feel free to call us at 1-866-687-2538 ext 160 or locally at 416-488-0107 or email me at karen.dunbar(at)muscle.ca.

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