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Looking for a good cause to race for this spring, or just a good cause to support in general? Check out the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Team Momentum, a group designed to help people of all athletic abilities train for and complete a half-marathon or marathon for their first or their fastest time. Team members commit to raising critical dollars to help MDA fund research breakthroughs and vital services to help the more than 3,000 families living with muscle disease in the DC metro area.
Active Life interviewed Justine Weissenborn, team MDA's Endurance Manager, to learn more about MDA and Team Momentum.
What is Muscular Dystrophy and who does it affect?
- Muscular dystrophy is an umbrella term for a genetic and/or sporadic condition market by progressive weakening and degeneration of the muscles
- The disorders differ in terms of the distribution and extent of muscle weakness, age of onset, and pattern of inheritance
- More than 40, or dozens, of different types are covered by MDA
Tell us about the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). What is its mission?
- Our Mission: The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. MDA funds worldwide research; provides comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and rallies communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement.
What we do:
Worldwide Research: MDA annually funds more than 250 research projects around the world. Thanks to MDA-funded research:
- Clinical trials of potential therapies are underway in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, spinal muscular atrophy, ALS and other diseases
- The largest drug discovery project in ALS to date is being conducted at the ALS Therapy Development Institute
- Optimal care guidelines have been developed for several rare conditions
- A lifesaving enzyme replacement therapy has been developed for Pompe disease
- More new drugs for muscle diseases are planned in the next five years than in the previous 50
Providing Families with Support: MDA’s comprehensive services program helps individuals and their families meet the challenges imposed by chronic, progressive muscle diseases through:
- Clinics: A national network of 200 medical clinics staffed by experts in neuromuscular diseases. In DC/MD, MDA clinics are located at Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Johns Hopkins University Outpatient Center in Baltimore.
- Local support groups and events for individuals and families
- Assistance locating, obtaining and repairing needed durable medical equipment
- Online opportunities to connect, share and learn through online communities, social media, care coordination tools and webinars
- Public and professional health education
- Summer camp: Each year, thousands of youngsters ages 6 to 17 attend a free weeklong accessible summer camp session where they get to be “just kids.” At Camp Maria in Leonardtown, MD, activities are geared to campers’ abilities, and each camper is assigned a trained, full-time counselor.
- Worldwide Research: MDA annually funds more than 250 research projects around the world. Thanks to MDA-funded research:
MDA provides support to children, and their families, suffering from muscular dystrophy. Shown above is Lucas and his father. Lucas loves the MDA summer camp where he hangs out with buddy Mateo.
The MDA sponsors a half marathon/marathon racing team called Team Momentum. Tell us how Team Momentum helps the MDA achieve its goals and carry out its mission.
- The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s MDA Team Momentum gives you the opportunity to dedicate your participation in an endurance race – a marathon or half-marathon – to the fight against muscle disease.
- Whether you’re a first-time runner or an endurance pro, MDA Team Momentum will provide you with the ultimate race experience, with benefits that include membership in the best nationwide endurance program dedicated to supporting the fight for muscle health, world-class customized Half or Full Marathon training for all levels and abilities, and a community of support from teammates, volunteers, coaches and mentors.
- Members receive invitations to exclusive social events, exclusive MDA Team Momentum training and racing gear, and race-weekend VIP amenities, such as access to an MDA Team Momentum tent, gear check, and private changing areas. Importantly, participants have the opportunity to honor or remember a loved one affected by muscle disease.
- Helpful resources, tips and suggestions, along with easy-to-use online tools and a personalized fundraising Web page make fundraising easy, fun and successful.
- MDA will guide you through your race experience. With MDA Team Momentum, you’ll map your course, finish your race and achieve your own personal victory. It’ll change your life; even better, it’ll change the lives of millions of Americans affected by muscle disease.
- Personal satisfaction is guaranteed, and every mile you log will move us towards a world in which muscle health, not muscle disease, prevails.
MDA is in the process of putting together a team to run the Marine Corps Marathon. If someone wants to get involved, how do they go about doing so? What is the commitment?
- The MDA’s Team Momentum is in its inaugural season and partnered with a few key races: the Marine Corps Marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Michelob Ultra 13.1 and a TBD Dallas race. We have guaranteed entries in the Marine Corps Marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Michelob Ultra 13.1.
- To join our team and the fight against muscle disease: visit www.MDATeam.org or contact DC Endurance Manager, Justine Weissenborn at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Coach-led training will begin in June with fundraising minimums ranging from $900-$1,250 (depending on participation type)
Are there opportunities to contribute for people that can’t participate in half or full marathons?
- Yes! Join our MDA Team Momentum Volunteer Board! Our Volunteer Board will meet monthly leading up to the weekend of the Marine Corps Marathon. It is an opportunity to give back while gaining valuable community service and leadership experience.
Visit the MDA Team Momentum website to learn more about this unique organization and its activities.