Positive change

Published 10:49 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

Whether you dug to the bottom of your purse for a few pennies or found a bill in your wallet, it all added up to something greater than the sum of its parts for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The annual Fill the Boot campaign is a popular fundraiser for MDA, coming around annually and providing the chance for folks to greet members of Suffolk Fire & Rescue up close and personal — and not in the back of an ambulance. But more importantly, those firefighters are out there with their boots in hand to collect for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Suffolk Fire & Rescue, Suffolk Firefighters Local 2801 and the MDA announced last week that the campaign had raised $83,000. About $60,000 of that was placed in boots during the fundraising earlier this year, and another $23,000 was raised by Lt. Travis Saunders and Fire Medic 2 Joe Jarman completing a 130-mile March for MDA from the Virginia Beach oceanfront to Richmond.

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Local 2801 has raised more than $762,000 since 1999. That’s a significant chunk of change, and it’s hard to believe much of it was, quite literally, change.

We, like many people, hold out hope that all that change will make a big change for families battling muscular dystrophy, an umbrella term for a host of diseases that affect those in infancy all the way up to the elderly.

The MDA already has made many strides with the help of its funding. It is the nation’s largest nonprofit supporter of research on more than 40 different neuromuscular diseases. It has sponsored research that has developed therapy and treatments that increase survival and quality of life.

If you were one of the many thousands of people who donated this year, thank you. This campaign is the proof that individually we cannot achieve much, but together we can achieve a cure.