by Melissa Brunner
More big changes are coming to the Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual telethon broadcast this year and I can only believe they'll make the organization stronger in its mission to serve people affected with neuromuscular diseases and their families, and find new treatments and cures.
The first big change is the name. It's no longer the MDA Labor Day Telethon, it's the MDA Show of Strength. For the past several years, MDA has invited you to "make a muscle and make a difference" for those living with MD. MDA is building on that theme by sharing stories of strength from across the country. In the same way, you'll hear stories of strength from some of the children, young adults and families in our area.
The second change is the timeframe during which you'll see the show. It's again on Sunday night, but it's from 7 to 10 pm. The three-hour format is packed with great entertainment, like Carrie Underwood and Will.i.am, and a lot of thanks for all who have supported MDA's efforts, nationally and locally.
I know change is hard for many people. After all, the Labor Day telethon was a tradition for many people growing up. But it is a different time with different economic demands. The bottom line is you'll still learn about MDA and it's mission, you'll still meet local families who need the help and hope MDA offers, you'll still see how local businesses and organizations have helped throughout the year, and you'll still be able to call 1-800-FIGHT-MD to pledge your support. Ralph and I will still be on your screen that Sunday night, guiding you through our local segments!
MDA remains as committed as ever to finding a cure for more than 40 neuromuscular diseases and, until that cure is found, making life a bit easier for those living with them every day. Would you rather the dollars go to producing a 21-hour live extravaganza or to finding a cure and helping the families? I think that's an easy answer.