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Muscular Dystrophy Association Announces National Ambassador to Walk in 2023 New York Fashion Week

Leah Zelaya, MDA’s 2023 National Ambassador, will be seen walking the runway during NYFW for the Runway of Dreams™ Foundation sporting Kohl’s Adaptive Clothing.

Image of a girl standing with leg braces with her hand on her hip.

NEW YORK, September 12, 2023 -- The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) announced today that Leah Zelaya, the 2023 MDA National Ambassador, is modeling in New York Fashion Week (NYFW) as part of the Runway of Dreams Foundation’s show titled A Fashion Revolution, on Wednesday, September 13. The show features Adaptive and Universally Designed apparel, footwear and products from top industry brands.

“As brands continue to recognize the positive impact of including people with disabilities in the fashion world, from apparel design to showcasing final products, we are proud to support the Runway of Dreams Foundation at New York Fashion Week. We are advocates for cultures of inclusion for people with neuromuscular disabilities across industries, including fashion. All of us at the Muscular Dystrophy Association applaud MDA family members Mindy Scheier and her son Oliver for making consumers with disabilities like Leah visible at one of the most important fashion events of the year,” said Morgan Roth, Chief Marketing Officer, MDA.

Leah is one of many advocates that continues to use her voice through her modeling, dancing and acting career to bring attention to muscular dystrophy. In her role as an MDA National Ambassador, Leah attends events across the country to raise awareness of the need for fundraising to support innovative neuromuscular disease research and care, as well as advocating for MDA legislative priorities. Read more from Leah in MDA’s Quest Media here.

“I’m honored to participate in the Runway of Dreams New York Fashion Week show! As the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s National Ambassador, it has always been my mission to encourage and to raise awareness for inclusion for people living with disabilities. This is why I am excited to be modeling for Runway of Dreams which empowers people with disabilities to have confidence and self-expression through inclusion in fashion and beauty,” said Leah Zelaya, MDA National Ambassador and advocate for people living with disabilities. “When 1 in 4 people in the world live with a disability, and everyone will eventually be getting older and need more accessible clothing to wear, I’m proud to see the fashion industry responding with more inclusive design – and I cannot wait to wear it on the runway!”

“Runway of Dreams is so excited and honored to have Leah join the Fashion Revolution. We're proud to have the support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in helping bring awareness to the need for Adaptive clothing footwear and accessories to the community of people with disabilities,” said Mindy Scheier, Founder, Runway of Dreams Foundation.

In addition to the runway show on Wednesday, September 13, Runway of Dreams will be hosting a Free and Open to the Public Adaptive Exhibit from Thursday, September 14, to Saturday, September 16, featuring Adaptive and Universally Designed collections from mainstream brands. More information surrounding the show can be found here.

For a front-row seat to fashion history, go to Runway of Dreams YouTube channel to watch the fashion show livestream at 7pm ET for this epic event of empowerment and style here. Follow on social media #RunwayOfDreams #AFashionRevolution #NYFW2023

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 Instagram, Facebook, X, Threads, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

About Runway of Dreams

Runway of Dreams is a non-profit (501c3) organization leading the movement of disability inclusion in the fashion and beauty industries. ROD raises awareness and inspires change through programming that celebrates people's differences, challenges stereotypes, and highlights the need for Adaptive & Universally designed apparel.