MDA resource specialist Mandy Behling used to think that living unlimited meant swimming with the sharks and climbing Mt. Everest. However, she has come to find that living unlimited means more than just traveling the world and seeking out grandiose adventures.
“Now I think that living unlimited means pushing myself just a little harder than I thought possible the day before,” she says.
While Mandy does not have a form of muscular dystrophy, she does have a condition that affects her mobility — and allows her to relate to the people she speaks with every day.
Learn more about Mandy and what inspired her to become involved with MDA.
1. How long have you been involved with MDA?
Since January 2008 — about eight-and-a-half years.
2. What do you most enjoy about being a resource specialist for MDA’s Resource Center?
I love being able to introduce families to additional resources they never even knew existed. Showing them programs through their state or county that will help pay for all of those things they’ve been taking care of out of pocket is like opening an entirely different door for them.
3. What is the most common question you are asked by individuals calling into the MDA Resource Center?
“Someone I love was just diagnosed with a muscle disease … what do we do next?
4. What do you find most inspiring about working for the MDA Resource Center?
I am amazed by the resilience those with muscular dystrophy and other muscle-debilitating diseases have. The world of genetics, research and healthcare is ever-changing, and it can be a full-time job just to keep on top of it. But these families want that information. They understand that with each change, the potential for treatments and cures also gets closer. That’s pretty amazing.
5. What has surprised you most in your position as a resource specialist at MDA?
Just how far MDA has come in 50 years of helping individuals with muscular dystrophy and other muscle-debilitating diseases. From a group of parents who just wanted to educate others and find cures and treatments to paving the way in genetics — we’re living in a time where new breakthroughs are coming faster than at any other time in history. MDA has been there through all of it, and seeing the promising studies now has shocked me. I’m not sure any other organization out there could say the same. That’s pretty amazing!
6. What are your favorite hobbies or activities outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my husband and 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter. I also love photography, design and spending time at our home away from home — Disney World!
7. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Even miracles take a little time.” It’s from “Cinderella,” and while it might sound cheesy, I know this to be true. Nothing happens overnight. Hard work, perseverance and determination in any facet of your life will produce amazing things.
8. If you could summarize your position as a resource specialist in three to five words, what would they be?
Educational, emotional, exciting, fast-paced, dynamic
Are you a family with neuromuscular disease looking for one-on-one support? Give our new MDA Resource Center a call at 1-833-ASK-MDA1 (1-833-275-6321) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.