When I was asked to continue in my role as National Ambassador for MDA in 2017, I had to think about it for about a nanosecond before I gave my answer. Yes, of course! So it’s official: I’ve re-upped for another tour. 2016 will be a hard act to follow, but now that I’m a registered frequent flyer and have a year of ambassadorship under my belt, I can’t wait to try to top it. In fact, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of experiences I’m looking forward to in 2017. Join me, won’t you?
Gianna Schwartz was born to write. Just 10 years old, the fifth-grader from Bettendorf, Iowa, has already won writing contests sponsored by PBS and participated in poetry slams. She’s even written a children’s book that was purchased at an auction by a Major League baseball player. Gianna — who is the Iowa State Goodwill Ambassador . . .
Few things are better than the perfect gift — except, perhaps, the gift that gives love to the recipient and to a whole community as well. This season, surprise your family with gifts that give to MDA families — and MDA research — too. Good Reads Stack your family bookshelf with must-reads that help explain . . .
OK, friends. I’ve got some really great news. As you know, MDA’s commitment to improving the lives of young adults living with muscle-debilitating diseases is near to my heart. It’s why I chose to accept the role as the first adult MDA National Goodwill Ambassador. It’s been almost a year since we began implementing MDA’s . . .
Owen Prenger of Brandon, S.D., is the embodiment of the MDA’s “Live Unlimited” motto. The active 10-year-old has numerous passions and interests. Above all, he loves to learn and is in the gifted education program in his fourth-grade class. Outside of school, he loves to play Minecraft, his favorite video game, and watch football, especially his . . .
Ethan Lybrand loves his Bumblebee. On Oct. 27, the 7-year-old became the proud owner of his first power wheelchair. Black and yellow, the chair’s color scheme is inspired by, and named after, his favorite Transformers character, Bumblebee. For Ethan, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, getting a wheelchair could have been a tough transition. Instead, Ethan . . .
Jake Roszelle is a “go big or go home” type of guy. Between Jake and his brother, their mom, Krista, is running out of room for all the plaques and medals. “He’s a very spirited go-getter,” Krista says of Jake. “He just never took his disability to heart, I guess. He works 100 percent of . . .
Hometown: Brandon, SD Diagnosis: I have Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). BMD’s onset is usually in late childhood or adolescence. Generalized weakness first affects muscles of the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders. Calves are often enlarged. There can be significant heart involvement. Favorite School Subject/Activities: I am in 3rd grade and my favorite subjects are reading and . . .
Meet Sylvia Hometown: Oakland, CA Age: 15 Diagnosis: I was diagnosed with Bethlem myopathy. Bethlem myopathy is a type of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy—a group of disorders affecting voluntary muscles, mainly those around the hips and shoulders. Favorite School Subject/Activities: My favorite subjects are leadership and geometry. Favorite People: My favorite person is Ellen DeGeneres and I also love my dogs Ronnie and . . .