Muscular Dystrophy Association's National Ambassador Ethan LyBrand to be featured in Verizon’s National Ad Campaign Airing on the Oscars
NEW YORK, NY – April 22, 2021, Muscular Dystrophy Association today celebrates National Ambassador Ethan LyBrand and his parents Jordan and Josh LyBrand for their feature in the new Verizon advertising campaign airing on the Oscars this Sunday.
Ethan’s MDA story received national recognition throughout the pandemic with his Shorty Award winning online “Joke-A-Day for MDA” campaign. The campaign began when in-person events pivoted to a virtual format due to the pandemic. Ethan continued his role as MDA National Ambassador by bringing his comedy skills to bear, and continued to raise awareness and funds for MDA’s work in research, care and advocacy – working to find cures for Ethan’s diagnosis with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
“I really didn’t know what was going to happen when the pandemic shut everything down, but I knew I wanted to keep helping-- make people smile, and bring some joy and hope to people,” said Ethan LyBrand, MDA National Ambassador. “Staying connected with my MDA Summer Camp friends also helped me continue to learn and grow, so I’m thankful Verizon chose me and my family to share our story.”
“From the first time we met them, after Ethan’s diagnosis as a toddler with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Ethan and his family have been incredible advocates for the mission of MDA,” said Donald S. Wood, Ph.D., President and CEO of MDA. “They have never stopped their efforts on behalf of those with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular diseases, even during the pandemic. Not only have they done the good work of helping us raise funds for scientific breakthroughs, advocate for access for our community, and provide the most advanced care in the world for people – but they have done it with a joyful optimism for the future. I cannot thank Ethan enough for agreeing to be an MDA National Ambassador. He and his family have helped make us better and, with Ethan’s “Joke-A-Day for MDA” campaign, smile more!”
As an MDA National Ambassador, Ethan and his family participate in MDA events to raise awareness of the need for critical funding to support innovative research and care for more than 300,000 individuals in the United States living with neuromuscular diseases. Ethan has gained independence and confidence to assume this role from his community of friends and family and from his time at MDA Summer Camp, which he will attend again this summer.
The ad shines a spotlight on how, through the power of the Verizon network, Ethan was able to stay connected through virtual MDA Summer Camp programming when the organization produced camp online throughout the pandemic, including this summer.
During the Oscars broadcast, Verizon will air a series of ad spots featuring their customers including teachers, first responders, small business owners and families, who have used the Verizon network to do extraordinary things throughout the pandemic when connection has been more important than ever. The spots can be viewed at youtube.com/verizon. Ethan’s ad can be viewed here.
About the Muscular Dystrophy Association
For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA's MOVR is the first and only data hub that aggregates clinical, genetic, and patient-reported data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate drug development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best-in-class care at more than 150 of the nation's top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational conferences, events, and materials for families and healthcare providers. MDA Advocacy supports equal access for our community, and each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA continues to produce virtual events and programming to support our community when in-person events and activities are not possible. MDA’s COVID-19 guidelines and virtual events are posted at mda.org/COVID19. For more information, visit mda.org.