Your Impact on the Neuromuscular Community in 2020 was Profound

Welcome to 2021. I think it’s safe to say we’re all looking forward to the fresh start and renewed possibilities that this year will bring.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the Canadian neuromuscular community in 2020. It was a challenging year for all, but your support directly impacted thousands of families and individuals across the country. Your donations funded access to treatments, programs and services and ground-breaking research.

For instance, you’re helping ensure early screening and treatment is available regardless of where you live. Thanks to the support of donors like you, babies and families across the country are a step closer to early diagnosis and treatment. We’re very excited to embark on a nation-wide newborn screening collaboration in 2021 to fuel the goal of making newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) a reality.

Also because of you, individuals affected by neuromuscular disorders stayed connected with their community, and were provided knowledgeable advice from experts in the health and medical fields during the pandemic. Your support allowed us to offer network meetings and educational webinars, virtually, so individuals could participate from the safety of their homes.

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Donors, like you, also played a vital role in keeping families together over the holidays. A research project you funded, A Virtual Transition Intervention for Children and Adults Transitioning To Home Ventilation, brought complex ventilator support into homes virtually. Individuals requiring ventilators to help with breathing make frequent visits to hospitals for specialized care and to ensure their equipment is working properly. This year, given these individuals are at a high risk for respiratory illness it was more important than ever that they stay at home with close family and friends. Thanks to your support of this research project, a virtual support program was piloted to bring medical experts into the homes of these individuals, reducing the need for hospital visits and possible exposure to COVID.

When we work together, we can truly accomplish incredible things.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you today. Will you renew your commitment to the neuromuscular community in 2021 by making a donation to MDC? Your gift will mean more investments in research, life-changing partnerships and continued support for individuals and families regardless of where they live.

The beginning of a new year is also the perfect time to become a monthly donor. Monthly donations support long-term projects and initiatives. They keep vital programs and services going all year long and ensure that critical advocacy efforts can continue to make positive changes for our community. The pandemic has underscored the vital importance of each and every donor and a sustainable monthly gift provides certainty for our ongoing work.

I know with your renewed support, we can continue to make meaningful changes, invest in research and form valuable partnerships that support Canadians affected by neuromuscular disorders.

Partnerships, such as the one with Thames Valley Neuromuscular Clinic where a pilot program is helping pediatric patients and their families make informed decisions throughout the care journey to alleviate some of the fear and stress these parents often experience. Your donations are also behind our Systems Navigation program, which helps Canadians with all areas of their non-medical needs. This past year, your gifts ensured MDC was able to continue funding critical equipment for individuals impacted by a neuromuscular disorder despite a drastic reduction in fundraising revenue.

MDC is the only national charity that supports Canadians with a wide range of neuromuscular disorders across the country, but we can’t do it without you. The impact you are having on the neuromuscular community is profound.

I hope we can count on you to renew your support today by making a donation.

Again, thank you for your support in 2020 and I look forward to working with you to continue changing lives in 2021. Because, like us, I know you too are ignited by passion and fuelled by hope.

Warm regards,
Stacey Lintern
CEO, Muscular Dystrophy Canada

P.S. Our new year appeal is one of our most important. Donations from supportive Canadians like you are put to work right away to support families and to fund research. While hope is renewed with the recent COVID vaccine, charities like ours continue to be impacted by its effect on our traditional fundraising activities and the economic realities for so many. We hope you can continue your support for 2021.

Don’t Forget Me This Holiday Season

The world is a scary and lonely place right now. Due to the global pandemic, we are isolated from our friends and family. Our routines have completely changed. We aren’t able to do the things we love and visit our favourite places. This is what life is like, every day, for many individuals affected by neuromuscular disorders.

My name is Warren. I’m a husband, a father, an advocate and so much more. I also have Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy. I wanted to share my story with dedicated donors, like you, because you’re having a profound impact on the lives of so many people affected by neuromuscular disorders – in ways that you may not even realise. And for that you deserve much gratitude and thanks.

I was eighteen years old before I was diagnosed. As frustrating, demoralizing and scary as it was to grow up unable to do things and not know why, it made me incredibly thankful when I finally did receive a diagnosis.

I remember being compared to my younger siblings. I was often called lazy. My experience of being treated less than fairly made me the advocate I am today. I’m also dedicated to raising funds for Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC), because I know from personal experience that the resources, connections and programs they offer are life-changing. I know these services are only possible, because of gifts from special donors like you.

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MDC is at great risk of not being able to continue offering these incredible services. Their revenue has drastically decreased during the pandemic, and demand for programs and support services has risen. You have been instrumental in providing these services in the past. Will you consider donating today to ensure individuals, like me, can continue to access the support we need during these challenging times?

The holidays are almost here and people are getting excited and finding new ways to celebrate with their loved ones. For me, the holiday season means snow, increased expenses and further isolation and loneliness.

I hope this holiday season you will remember the challenges many of us are facing.
Because you have the power to give the gift of hope and connection by supporting MDC.

Sometimes I get very angry. I’m angry that my loving wife and wonderful children have
to watch their dad struggle. I’m angry that I can’t be there for them in the ways I want to be. I’m angry that we, the disabled community, so often seem to be forgotten. I can’t deal with the anger and isolation alone. Thankfully I have a friend like you in my corner.

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Because of you, I am able to participate in MDC’s virtual network meetings. These meetings give me a chance to connect with others who understand my situation and frustrations. It also gives me the chance to help others and be a support system for new friends across the country.

Did you know you were providing a safe, accessible way for individuals affected by neuromuscular disorders across the country to connect with each other, form friendships and reduce isolation? This type of gift is invaluable. But without your continued generous support, these opportunities for connection are at risk.

You have the power to bring people together, to reduce isolation and loneliness and to brighten someone’s day in a meaningful way. Will you make a donation today to spread a little holiday joy?

The financial support, equipment and emotional connections you provide are important every day, but even more so during the holidays. I hope you will make a donation today to make sure no one feels forgotten this holiday season.

Warm regards,
Warren Jones

P.S. Give the gift of joy and connection today. Then if you know someone impacted by a neuromuscular disorder, tell them how you are supporting MDC and encourage them to attend a virtual network meeting. I’d love to make a new friend.

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WMS Challenge

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!

Double Your Impact Today

Have you ever heard of Giant Axonal Neuropathy (GAN)? Probably not. It’s a really rare neuromuscular disorder.

Hi! My name is Jordan and I’m 9-years old. When I was three and a half, a doctor told me I had GAN. My family had no idea what this meant. But the doctor told us that my nervous system is slower and doesn’t work as well as other kids’.

When I was little, I had trouble standing up and walking. At first, my parents thought I was just clumsy. I don’t remember this very well, but my mom says getting my diagnosis was like a never-ending road.

It took two whole years to figure out what was happening to me. When they finally found out about my disorder, my mom says it felt like she was kicked in the gut.

If you give a gift today, scientists can find out more about rare disorders to help people, like me. And today, your gift will go two times as far because a generous donor has agreed to match all gifts to my letter up to $25,000.

Did you know there are over 160 different kinds of neuromuscular disorders? That’s a lot. I have one of the really rare types. And there are lots of other people with different rare types too! Thankfully MDC is here to help people no matter what type they have!

Will you give a gift today so families like mine can get the help they need?

When I was 4-years-old, I needed a walker. Then when I turned five, I got my first wheelchair. Later, MDC helped me get a cool new power wheelchair. I’m really lucky, because I have donors, like you, to help me. But there are a lot of other people with rare disorders who need help, too.

It’s great that we know what my disorder is so that I can get the help I need. Many kids aren’t able to get diagnosed.

My disorder never stops me from having fun! I always wanted to learn how to dance so my mom signed me up for dance classes. She didn’t want to wait because one day I might be in my wheelchair full-time and dance classes would be very different.

Sometimes, my family needs help. If I need a new wheelchair or something else to help me, my mom just picks up the phone and calls MDC. Sometimes she talks to them for a long time, but she always seems happy.

Donors like you help make moms and dads feel happy, and less angry and sad. Right now, because of a special donor, your gift will help even more people! Will you give a gift today?

There are so many different types of disorders. But everyone should be able to get the help they need! MDC supports research, advocacy and helps families like mine get support and equipment—like my walker and wheelchair! When you donate to MDC, it really helps. We are so lucky to have you.

By giving a gift, you give me and families all over Canada HOPE for the future. I’m counting on you to give a generous gift today so you can help others live their best life.

Thank you for helping kids like me keep on dancing!

Jordan Gagnon

P.S. A generous donor has agreed to match the gifts from my letter! How awesome is that? They will match up to $25,000. Which means we can help so many other families. MDC supports research for treatments and earlier diagnosis and supports families impacted by ALL neuromuscular disorders, even the really rare ones—like mine!

Important Update on Phone Solicitations

Muscular Dystrophy Canada does not use telemarketing services. You can support Fire Fighters and help them Fill the Boot for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and the individuals and families impacted by neuromuscular disorders by going to filltheboot.ca. For Donations $20 or more you will be emailed a tax receipt.

STATEMENT REGARDING PHONE SOLICITATIONS

Several years ago, the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association (CFFCA) retained a telemarketing company to assist in fundraising for their annual curling event. A portion of the funds raised in past years were donated to MDC.
Muscular Dystrophy Canada can confirm a campaign soliciting donations for the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association has begun, seeking donations that support the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association.

We have received complaints regarding the tone and approach of solicitation calls. We have brought these to the attention of the President of CFFCA.
Should you have any concerns or questions please contact the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association directly at cffca.ca.

We sincerely thank all of our generous supporters for making our work possible. Again, to help Fire Fighters #filltheboot go to filltheboot.ca.

The Tenaquip Foundation Walk for Muscular Dystrophy raising funds, hope and unity in new ways

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 29, 2020

Toronto, Ontario – Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) is bringing the neuromuscular community together like it never has before. On September 12, 2020 at 2 p.m. EST, thousands of Canadians across the country will come together, virtually, to participate in The Tenaquip Foundation Walk for Muscular Dystrophy (Walk4MD).

“This is the first time MDC has hosted a virtual fundraising event, and we are excited to have The Tenaquip Foundation as our title sponsor. They are amazing supporters of the neuromuscular community in Canada, and this year they have extended their commitment by joining the Walk4MD family,” says Stacey Lintern, Interim CEO, Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Learn more

MDC Urgently Needs Your Help

Dear Friend,

I truly hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well during these uncertain times.

I am reaching out to request your support. As a result of COVID-19, Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) has experienced a significant decrease in our fundraising revenue. As an organization that does not receive government funding, MDC relies on generous donors and supporters, like you, to meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of our clients.

Your support has enabled MDC to deliver its critical programs and services, like our equipment funding program, to thousands of clients across Canada for over 66 years. To ensure the safety of all, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel and or postpone in-person fundraising events. As a result, MDC has experienced a decrease in revenue by over 60 per cent in our first quarter.

Therefore, we’ve had to decrease funding for our equipment program by 40 per cent meaning fewer clients are getting what they need. Our clients need us now more than ever as they have limited resources and are coping with issues related to COVID-19.

That’s why we’re hoping you will consider making a special donation today, if you can.

One such client who needs help is Courtney White. Courtney is a single mom of three children. Her two sons have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and she desperately needs a bathroom lift for her home. She shared with us that, “This pandemic has been incredibly hard for our

Harley and Ayden, with their mom Courtney and sister Keira, need your support to access critical, life-changing equipment.
family. Right now, I have to lift my oldest son, Harley, in and out of the bathroom. He weighs significantly more than me. Having a ceiling lift from the bedroom to the bathroom would mean more independence for the boys, less physical stress on me and more time to spend together as a family. But, due to COVID-19, funding has been delayed significantly.”

Sadly, the crisis is far from over. You can help us continue to fund critical equipment for people impacted by neuromuscular disorders. We urgently need your support. If you are able, please consider donating today.

MDC has almost 100 people waiting for critical equipment. As you may know, often government doesn’t fund or fully cover the high costs of essential equipment like wheelchairs, ramps, lifts and respiratory aids. For some this means not being able to live in their home safely. For others, like Courtney’s family, it means emotional and financial strain in addition to health and safety concerns for caregivers.

Courtney also shared how thankful she is for the support that donors make possible.

“MDC always does everything they can to help us. For a single parent in this situation, securing financial support for equipment would take a huge weight off my shoulders, both literally and figuratively. Without you, I can’t get the equipment I need for my sons.”

If you are in a position to donate, I hope you will consider doing so today. You will be helping Canadians impacted by neuromuscular disorders access the critical equipment and support they need to live their best lives.

Thank you for being there when we need you most and continuing to support those impacted by neuromuscular disorders. I hope you have been safe and healthy during these uncertain times. If you have been impacted by COVID-19, you are in our thoughts.

With deepest gratitude,

Stacey Lintern
Interim CEO
Muscular Dystrophy Canada

P.S. At a time when our ability to raise funds to support the neuromuscular community has been diminished, we are experiencing a significant increase in requests for our services. You have MDC’s commitment that we’ll continue to do everything we can to support our clients and their families. But, in this period of uncertainty, we really need your help.

Important Update on Phone Solicitations

STATEMENT REGARDING PHONE SOLICITATIONS

Muscular Dystrophy Canada does not use telemarketing services.

Several years ago, the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association (CFFCA) retained a telemarketing company to assist in fundraising for their annual curling event. A portion of the funds raised in past years were donated to MDC.

Muscular Dystrophy Canada can confirm a campaign soliciting donations for the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association has begun, seeking donations that support the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association.

We have received complaints regarding the tone and approach of solicitation calls. We have brought these to the attention of the President of CFFCA.

Should you have any concerns or questions please contact the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Association directly at cffca.ca. We sincerely thank all of our generous supporters for making our work possible.

Barbara Stead-Coyle
CEO