By Anne Eickstadt

COURTESY PHOTO Belvidere Republican
BFD Firefighters take Sparky to MDA Camp to visit with the kids.


A number of us still remember the entertaining Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, which would run all weekend to raise money for research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy.

While the MDA telethon is no longer an annual event, muscular dystrophy is still affecting thousands upon thousands of children and adults. The Muscular Dystrophy Association is committed to transforming the lives of people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. They do this by finding research breakthroughs across diseases, caring for kids and adults from day one and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America.

MDA covers 43 neuromuscular diseases, including ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Last year, $20 million was raised by firefighters nationwide. $900,000 was raised in Illinois. Totals of 650 million raised by firefighters over the past 65 years.

$1.4 billion has been raised for research over the past 68 years. Firefighters have raised almost half of that total. 129 firefighter locals participated in Illinois in 2018 – 61 percent participation.

The Belvidere Fire Dept. has been a part of this endeavor since 2012. In 2012, BFD was able to raise $7827. While the amounts have varied over the years, there has been an increase in efforts and generosity until, in 2018, the BFD was able to raise $10,025. This was an average amount of $477 per BFD firefighter, making them fifth in the state of Illinois.

While MDA is fighting to free individuals and their families from the devastating effects of muscular dystrophy, members of the Belvidere Fire Dept. are encouraging affected kids by raising funds and visiting the kids at Camp.

“Had a great time at MDA Camp this year. It is really hard to put in into words what the week was like. Amazing, life changing, humbling, fun, tiring, emotional, uplifting, inspiring, incredible, and wonderful, are just a few that come to mind. I know that this is something I will continue to do as long as I am able to. I had a first time camper named Anthony and we built a great…

For complete article, pick up the Aug. 1 Belvidere Republican.

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