Many neuromuscular specialists and members of multidisciplinary neuromuscular teams in Canada are part of the World Muscle Society (WMS). WMS provides a multidisciplinary scientific forum to advance and disseminate knowledge in the neuromuscular field for the benefit of patients; stimulates, encourages and helps to develop programs for professionals working in the neuromuscular field; and promotes the achievement of standards in clinical practice.
This year the WMS2020 meeting was scheduled to take place in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada and was meant to mark WMS’ 25th anniversary year. But unfortunately due to COVID-19, the meeting was re-envisioned as a first ever virtual congress.
Because people living with neuromuscular conditions have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, WMS has asked all WMS2020 Congress attendees to get involved by taking on their very own #WMS25CHALLENGE to raise money and awareness for relevant charities across the world.
Muscular Dystrophy Canada has been selected as the neuromuscular organization of choice for Canada. This call for support is timely: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MDC has seen an increased demand for mental and emotional well-being supports, evidence-based information, essential equipment and advocacy for equity-focused policies. But while there has been an increased demand for our programs and services, the pandemic has significantly affected our available funding. Since the pandemic, MDC has experienced a 60% decrease in revenue. All of our in-person fundraising events have been cancelled and this has been challenging as our organization relies on our supporters and donors to fuel our mission. There has been a 40% cut to funding for the equipment program and a 75% cut to the budget for the Annual Research Grant Competition. In the past year we funded over $1.6 million dollars of research grants and leveraged additional funding for a total of approximately $3.5 million towards team grants and supporting infrastructure. We funded over 1 million dollars in funding essential equipment and technology supports for people living with neuromuscular disorders, but today we have over 100 individuals on the wait list to receive such life-changing equipment. Let’s not slow down the incredible progress that has been made.
Let’s keep the momentum going – if you are attending #WMS2020 meeting, participate in the #WMS25CHALLENGE and help raise money for MDC. [https://muscle.akaraisin.com/ui/directgiving/donations/start (Enter Code: WMS25)] Share your post using the hashtags #WMS25CHALLENGE and #WMS2020 to make sure it features on MDC and the Congress Twitter walls.
In advance, thank you for your support and for positively impacting the lives of Canadians affected by neuromuscular disorders!