Tribute Messages

Jerry’s relentless determination and commitment to find a cure for neuromuscular disease has profoundly affected the lives of millions of families. We salute Jerry, forge ahead to realize his vision, and honor his memory in gratitude for his extraordinary accomplishments and gifts to MDA.

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Send a Tribute Message to Honor Jerry

We know Jerry has made an impact on so many of you and we invite you to share your thoughts, memories and condolences. We’ll plan to share these messages with Jerry’s family and with the MDA community.

Messages of Remembrance & Gratitude

  • I was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) in 1973. At that time, I was told that I'd be lucky to be walking by the age of 20-25 years. I was 12 then. In 1983, at age 22, I thought I might not be able to walk much longer so I hitch-hiked from Missouri to Las Vegas with one agenda: to thank Jerry for all the hard work he had done in those 10 years I watched him do his magic on the Telethon, and for making my hopes for the future a little brighter knowing he was trying his best to end "MD" for me and so many others.

    I left home on a Monday (one week before Labor day) and arrived in Vegas on Wednesday. I met Jerry the next day in the lobby of Caesars Palace and did what I set out to do. I shook his hand, looked in his eyes and thanked him. After our conversation, he invited me to join him as he rehearsed for the Telethon.

    My dad’s name is John, but I will always be one of "Jerry's Kids."

    Blessings to your family, you will always be a part of mine.

    With a heavy sigh, goodbye Jerry.

    — Rev. Donald Foster

  • I walked for 'Jerry's Kids' for many years. It was not until I was pregnant with our third child that I was diagnosed with CMT and then, over the course of 10 years, we found out through the MDA Clinic that each of our boys also have CMT. They were followed in clinic visits, attended summer camp and were the local Iowa Ambassadors one year. When Jerry sang his closing song, "You'll Never Walk Alone," I felt like he was singing it to me and my boys. Thank you, Jerry, for being there for all of us and for giving us the courage to walk on.

    — Anna Isaacson

  • As a retired IAFF firefighter, I felt a calling to become involved with MDA and did all I could in raising funds for those dealing with muscular dystrophy. I proudly have displayed in my home office two framed MDA posters that I believe are from the early years when Jerry Lewis was involved with MDA. I will always treasure those posters. I did see Mr. Lewis perform once here in Michigan. It was a great show and will always cherish that memory. RIP Mr. Lewis, we will continue your fight.

    — Roger Carroll

  • Jerry Lewis was the comedic icon of my childhood. More than that, he defined the term philanthropy. We are sorry for his passing, yet know there are millions of people who feel as I do that he was an inspiring cultural icon. May he rest in peace.

    — Mark Minsky

  • Watching Jerry on the telethon for so many years, and then having the honor of working at the telethon here in Las Vegas is unbelievable. Knowing that Jerry has helped these kids and the adults with neuromuscular diseases is breathtaking. Thanks to him, I have been the camp nurse at the local MDA Summer Camp for the last seven years. Thank you, Jerry, so much for allowing me to take care of your kids

    — Robyn Stein

  • I loved Jerry Lewis. I never saw any of his movies, or his comedy routines. I loved him because of the love he showed us. He said we would never walk alone and we didn't. He said there would be a cure in his lifetime and that gave us hope. Day after day, year after year, Jerry devoted himself to kids with muscular dystrophy. The cure may not quite be here yet, but the billions of dollars he helped raise over his decades of tireless work have advanced treatments, provided services, funded research and sent many, many kids to a camp that adapted to them, not the other way around. He found his inspiration in kids like my nephew Jake, a teenager with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, who has lost the ability to walk. And in people like Jake's parents, my brother and sister-in-law, who devote themselves to providing round the clock care for Jake, managing his health needs and doing everything in their power to help him live the fullest and happiest life possible. Jerry, thanks for letting us lean on you. We miss you already.

    — Suzanne Myers

  • I first remember watching the Jerry Lewis telethon and I needed to do something - so I volunteered to answer the phones at the telethon one year. That one year turned into 31 years of being a dedicated volunteer for the MDA, going to MDA Summer Camp, working in the regional office and just being there for the kids. I was one of the original volunteers that founded a volunteer organization called MYAD (Me You Against Dystrophy) where once a month we would have different events for the children. Jerry, it was because of you that I got involved and I will be forever grateful. You will be dearly missed from all the people you have touched. Rest In Peace... love Rick

    — Rick Huffman

  • My son, Scott, was a Goodwill Ambassador for MDA in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area. He went to many events to represent MDA in our area. However, his highlight every year was going to MDA Summer Camp. He passed in February 2014 at the age of 34. I never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Lewis but received a letter from him shortly after Scott was diagnosed. He did a lot of good for MDA research. RIP Mr. Lewis.

    — Susan Jemison

  • When I was a child, I would beg my parents to let me stay up and watch the telethon. We would always go to our station to make our donation. I always thought it was cool to be involved in such a great cause. When I was diagnosed with myastenia gravois, I was grateful that it was under the MDA umbrella. I knew that Jerry and his team were doing all they could to find a cure. I so miss him singing to me at the end of the telethon. I was inspired to keep going. Thank you, Jerry, for your lifetime of dedication to your kids.

    — Diane Deeds

  • Jerry, You were a great comedian, actor, humanitarian and all-around person. I grew up laughing and crying with you. Will miss you. RIP

    — Fran S.

  • Jerry, you will forever be remembered for all you did. Your life and your courage and kindness touched millions of lives. And now you’re in Heaven and God is touching your life and praising you for the wonderful, kind, loving man you were. R.I.P Mr. Lewis and know that you are loved beyond measure.

    — Carolyn Whitetail

  • God Bless you Jerry Lewis for all you've done for the human race. I watched the telethon from beginning to end for all of thirty years! You are an inspiration to many. May your family feel the love of all of us who loved you and may they find peace in the realization that you are finally any rest and peace.

    — Rae Volpe

  • What can I say about Jerry Lewis, I am 69 years old and I think he has had an impact on my life since I was 3 years old. When I was born, Jerry was 22 years old and already in partnership with Dean. I loved the two of them and I especially loved Jerry since the day he died (may he rest in peace). I don't want to get all mushy because if I do, I can write a book. He was both an idol of mine with my other idol, Elvis Presley. Funny that both my idols were kings, one of rock and roll and the other one of comedy. I have lost a lot of sleep in my life watching him on the telethon and that had a very big impact on my life. Saw him in person at the Learning center in New York years ago talking about what else, his life and comedy and especially Dean. Then I saw him 22 years ago on Broadway in Dam Yankees. I don't want to go on with this because I still get very emotional thinking of his passing. I wish his entire family my condolences and I wish the 91-year-old youngster a wonderful hereafter, he deserves it. Dean and Jerry together again. Rest in peace Mr. Lewis, I will never forget you for what you have meant to the human race. There will never be another one like you.

    — Warren Ditch

  • Whenever you pass through the decades with someone who has been a part of your life, even in just a small way, you can't help but to miss them and mourn their passing. To me, and many, many others, Jerry was one such individual. A twentieth century classic, he not only was a larger-than-life comedian, he was also an annual fixture on our television sets every Labor Day weekend. Yes, it was that time of year (as it will be this coming weekend), and time for another Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. For that nearly 24- hour period from Sunday evening to late Monday afternoon, we were entertained by the many celebrities, musical acts, magicians, and so on, as the ever-present donation phone numbers were displayed on the screen. Throughout these annual broadcasts, I would sporadically be tuned in, first on Channel 5, then later Channel 9 (both in the NYC area). Over his last decade on the program, I reflected and had a strong sense of appreciation for this man who displayed so much passion and devotion to this cause. He truly was an example of someone who received so much in life and wanted to give back. As an icon for both your comedic talents and your sacrifice for others less fortunate, it goes without saying that you will sincerely be missed! Rest in peace!

    — Fred Del Bianco

  • You have touch so many people's hearts R.I.P. you will be missed dearly.

    — William Schiller

  • Jerry was an amazing humanitarian who will be missed for so many reasons. I grew up watching the telethon from its beginning as a very young child and I am better person because of Jerry. Thank you Jerry for touching my life and the lives of so many others. Heartfelt condolences to the entire Lewis family. Your legacy is going to be untouchable Jerry!

    — Gail Kas