Erin’s Story

Erin's Squad from 2017's Walk4MD

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My name is Erin. I’m a 16 year-old who loves to give back to her community, spend time with friends and be involved in school. On top of all that, I am also living with a neuromuscular disorder. That’s my reality. But because of people like you, I’m living the life I want and making a difference!

Living with a neuromuscular disorder makes daily life a little more complicated. When I was younger, my parents would have to manually lift both me and my 200 lb power wheelchair in order to get me into our van. This made going out or running simple errands more difficult than necessary.

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My parents, our dog Elmo and I at the 2016 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

My parents, our dog Elmo and I at the 2016 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

As you can imagine, this put a lot of physical and emotional stress on all of us. I was always included in family activities and my parents are always willing to do whatever they can to help me do so. However, because it was such a long and stressful process to travel such short distances, I did not always get the chance to participate in everyday trips.

Today I am writing to ask you to donate to Muscular Dystrophy Canada and make a difference in the lives of individuals living with neuromuscular disorders. Your commitment  will continue to support families just like mine!

Over the years, I began using assistive devices such as a power wheelchair, lifts, and a CoughAssist which improve the quality of my daily life. Muscular Dystrophy Canada provided funding through the Equipment Program for me to convert my van to make it accessible.

With the updates to our van, my world grew ten times in one day! I can get around my community and do all of the things I love like joining my parents to run errands, going to the mall with friends and being involved in more activities at school.


That is the power of your donation to Muscular Dystrophy Canada. You are giving the gift of freedom and independence. Thank you!

My day starts off just like anyone else’s, but I have a caregiver, Nicole, who helps me get up and ready. We’ve become very close friends and she helps me do my hair, get dressed and we do my makeup together. Knowing that Nicole is there to offer her help and support allows me to be the best version of myself every day.

At school, I also have an aide who helps me with tasks during my day. Sometimes I have to leave the classroom and take a break to use my CoughAssist which allows me to breathe more easily and finish the rest of my school day. Having the tools I need means I don’t have to miss much class time, which makes me happy because I love learning!

One of my passions is making a difference in my community and giving back to the organization that supports me. For the last three years, I’ve been the captain of a Walk for Muscular Dystrophy team. Not only that, but my team has raised the most money across Canada for two years in a row!

Erin and the Carlson sister's with their dad

Myself, Nicole Carlson (left), her sister Kelly Carlson (right) and her dad Ken Carlson (center) at the 2016 Calgary Walk for MD

Just like you, I’m passionate about the work that Muscular Dystrophy Canada does. No one living with a neuromuscular disorder should have to give up their dreams because of accessibility or costs. Your donation means that more people will be empowered to follow their dreams. Your donations are giving people the freedom to find their passions.

My team started out as my family and I participating in the local Walk for Muscular Dystrophy and has now grown to include my caregiver, her family and other friends from across the country! We are so proud of the funds we’ve raised because we know firsthand how much Muscular Dystrophy Canada does for people like me.

Knowing that amazing donors, like you, are fighting the same fight is what keeps us motivated and pushing towards our goal! Thank you for being such a valuable member of the team. Will you join me in making sure people with neuromuscular disorders can live the life they want?

My dream for the future is to study political science and then maybe even go to law school! Because of my support systems, caregiver, equipment funding, and incredible determination, I will reach my goals. We need your help to make sure others living with neuromuscular disorders are able to turn their dreams into their reality.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment. Your gift today will empower our community to follow their passions and fulfill their dreams.


Erin's signature

Erin Novakowski

PS. If you’d like to learn more about the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy and the incredible individuals who are participating in the events this year, you can visit


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