How & why did you first get involved in the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy?
After my diagnosis and coming to terms with it, my family and I were starting to want to get more involved with the organization. We found out about the walk on the website and decided to see what it was about, and we’ve come every year since the first time we did.
What was the age of diagnosis of you/ your family member?
My age of diagnosis was 19 (I’m 23 now)
How do you feel the Walk event will benefit your family & community?
I feel like it benefits us because in asking for donations or trying to find more people to join our team, it raises awareness that way. It’s beneficial because there’s not a lot of people in my area that know what Muscular Dystrophy is or that there is a walk for it.
Do you have a favourite memory from a past Walk? If so, what is it?
My favourite memory would have to be my first walk. My team and I dressed up in tutus and bright leg warmers and had an absolute blast.
What is the most important thing you would want people to know about the Walk?
I think the most important thing to know about it is that it isn’t about who raises the most money or who walks the fastest or longest, it’s more about getting together with people from all over and supporting each other. We all know and love someone who’s affected, and we’re all there to support them and each other by doing the Walk.
What is your favourite way to raise awareness & to fundraise?
The Walk is my favourite way to raise awareness, but I also post a lot to social media about MD. I’m a member of several groups and pages on Facebook that I’ll share posts that talk about what it’s like to have MD and interesting research articles.
What do you look forward to at the Walk each year?
Definitely meeting new and more people in the community and getting to hear their stories. For me, feeling the way I have since my diagnosis and feeling a little bit alone at times, it’s nice to meet other people who understand the things I’ve gone through and have made the experience a little better.
If you could tell people one good thing about the Walk, what would it be?
There’s a very strong sense of community when you’re at the Walk. Everyone is there for the same thing, supporting the same cause, and trying to raise awareness. It’s very comforting to be around so many people that are so genuinely interested and caring about it.
What tips would you give a first-time participant?
I’d say plan for the weather, since the last couple of Walks we’ve been to have had surprise rain. But also, don’t be discouraged if your team isn’t huge or you don’t raise a whole bunch of money. Enjoy the experience and get to know everyone. My first walk was the first time I had met anyone with MD or anyone in the community, and your first walk will be when you start making those friendships too.
Please answer this question: “I am walking for…”
I am walking for myself, and for everyone else affected by neuromuscular disorders.
How has your local community supported you and your family?
I’m from a small town, so MD is fairly new to the people in my town. In being a part of the walk and doing the things I do to raise awareness or tell people what my experiences have been, people have been really supportive and we’ve gotten donations for the Walk from people too.