June is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month

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International Association of Fire Fighters & Affiliates Launch ‘Fill the Boot’ Fundraisers Nationwide for Muscular Dystrophy Association

For nearly 70 years, IAFF Fill the Boot events have raised lifesaving funds to advance care and accelerate research for MDA families living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases.

NEW YORK, NY – April 10, 2023 – Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) kick off more than 2,000 Fill the Boot fundraising events for 2023 on National Boot Day, April 13, 2023.

Adults and kids posing for a picture on the grass in front of a lake.
International Association of Fire Fighters Launch 2023 Fill the Boot Fundraisers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Photo features IAFF Local 122 Jacksonville Fire Rescue Station 1.

Funds raised from IAFF’s Fill the Boot events for MDA accelerate research, advance care, and empower people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. Online donations will continue, even as fire fighters take to the streets in communities across the country with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers, and other passersby to support the mission. Online donations may be made here.

“Traditions are at the heart of the fire service, and the IAFF is proud that – for nearly 70 years – ‘Fill the Boot’ campaigns led by IAFF members throughout the United States and Canada have made a difference for people living with neuromuscular diseases,” says IAFF General President Edward Kelly. “As fire fighters, we go where the fight is, and that’s why we are raising awareness and funds to help ensure effective treatments and therapies are found.”

"Thanks to fire fighters filling the boot for decades, today we have 18 treatments for neuromuscular diseases approved by the FDA in just the past 12 years with many more in the pipeline. Those treatments were created from MDA’s vision to open a new field of medicine and push the boundaries of the medical frontier we call genetic medicine. Together with the support of the International Association of Fire Fighters to accelerate research and advance care, we are empowering the families we serve to live longer more independent lives. Fire fighters are a vital part of our mission in all the communities we serve across the country. We are extremely grateful to IAFF for maintaining their strong commitment to the Fill the Boot program," says Donald S. Wood, Ph.D., President and CEO of MDA.

MDA and IAFF partners.
MDA alongside our longstanding partners at IAFF at ALTS 2023. L to R: Dr. Wu, Chief Medical Officer, IAFF; Governor Brad Henry, Chairman, MDA; Edward Kelly, General President, IAFF; Donald S. Wood, Ph.D., President and CEO, MDA; Jeremy Kraut-Ordover, Chief Development Officer, MDA; Rober Lopez, IAFF/MDA National Coordinator.

History

The partnership between MDA and IAFF spans nearly 70 years, beginning in 1954 when the IAFF signed a proclamation designating MDA its charity of choice and vowing to continue raising awareness and funds until cures are found. To date, fire fighters nationwide have raised $679 million over nearly seven decades. These funds have led in part to 18 new FDA-approved treatments for neuromuscular diseases and access to treatments and care from day one.

The campaign will be shared on social media channels using the hashtag #FillTheBoot. Follow MDA on FacebookTwitterInstagramTikTok, and LinkedIn. Follow the IAFF on FacebookTwitterInstagram.

About the IAFF

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is the driving force behind nearly every advance in the fire and emergency services in the 21st century. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa, Ontario, the IAFF represents more than 330,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics in more than 3,500 affiliates. IAFF members protect more than 85 percent of the population in communities throughout the United States and Canada.

About Muscular Dystrophy Association

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA's mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. To learn more visit mda.org and follow MDA on InstagramFacebookTwitterTikTok, LinkedIn.