Muscular Dystrophy Canada is on a mission to help people with neuromuscular disorders live life on their own terms. To help raise funds to continue this mission, the organization had to do what many other non-profits across Canada had to amid the COVID-19 pandemic: go virtual.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Tenaquip Foundation Walk for Muscular Dystrophy will take place virtually, marking the first time participants won’t be gathering in local communities to walk together to support those impacted by neuromuscular disorders.
Event organizers see going virtual as a chance to increase participation over years previous.
“We’re going to be bringing the nation together,” says Stacey Lintern, interim CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. “We’re going to celebrate all of the advances; we’re going to have speakers and testimonials and some entertainment and then our participants will be able to walk safely in their own preferred space and time… and hopefully raise some good awareness and funds for this amazing organization.”
Neuromuscular disorders are a group of diseases that weaken the body’s muscles and cause patients to lose their ability to walk or breathe on their own. There are over 160 different types of neuromuscular disorders, including muscular dystrophy, affecting over 50,000 Canadians.
Currently, there is no cure.
People diagnosed with one of these disorders may lose the ability to do things others take for granted.
“It can affect you from the time you get up to the time you go to bed, using the bathroom, getting dressed, washing, eating, everything associated with just everyday living. It affects everything,” Wayne Holland, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a teenager in the 1970s, told Global News in 2018.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected Muscular Dystrophy Canada significantly, with the organization’s revenue decreasing by 60 per cent since March. The goal of this year’s walk event is to raise $750,000 for services, programs and equipment to ensure it can meet the unique needs of the community it serves.
“We are really looking at this opportunity around bringing people together as one to raise some money so that we can continue to provide critical programs and services and continue to invest in research so that we can one day find a cure for neuromuscular disorders,” says Lintern.
To register for the Tenaquip Foundation Walk for Muscular Dystrophy and for more information on Muscular Dystrophy Canada, visit muscle.ca.