Help me help the MDA

I need your help to make bail.

No, not that kind of bail. I’ve never been arrested. But I am going to “jail.”

I’ve been recruited to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with their annual Lock-Up fundraiser. Such events occur nationwide all year long. Business owners and community leaders (and, apparently, weekly newspaper reporters) agree to be “put behind bars for good.” We’re asked to raise money from friends, family, co-workers and, in your case, readers to help make “bail,” which will then benefit the MDA’s research, medical clinics and summer camp experiences.

Muscular dystrophy is a term that refers to a group of genetic diseases in which muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage. These damaged muscles become progressively weaker. Most people who have muscular dystrophy will eventually need to use a wheelchair. It’s more prevalent in boys than girls. In some cases, the disorder is fatal, as some forms of it affect the patient’s heart and lungs. There is no cure, but many patients have benefitted from therapy and ever-evolving research.

The MDA also serves people suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to the death of those neurons. When they die, the patient loses the ability to initiate and control muscle movement. Patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Again, there are numerous therapies that help patients have a better quality of life, but there is no cure.

I’ll be turning myself in to the authorities at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 12, at Spaghetti Warehouse on Clinton Street in Syracuse. In order to secure my release, I need to raise $2,400. I’m asking for your help to do so. You can visit my fundraising page at mda.org and clicking on “Find A Jailbird” at the top of the page. Your online donation is secure, and your support will help families in the area living with muscle disease.

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