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Muscular Dystrophy Association to Kick off "MDA National Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month" with Virtual Celebrations

Labor Day Weekend fundraising campaigns will support MDA's mission to transform the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases

NEW YORK, Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- September marks "MDA National Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month," an annual observance that raises awareness for more than 250,000 families across the nation who are living with neuromuscular disease. To celebrate, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is hosting virtual events to raise critical funds for treatment and care for people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular disease.

Join alumni MDA National Ambassador Justin Moy and his family for Virtual MDA Muscle Walk.
Join alumni MDA National Ambassador Justin Moy and his family for Virtual MDA Muscle Walk.

MDA's historic fundraisers, including MDA Muscle Walk and the Harley-Davidson MDA Ride for Life, will be hosted virtually for the first time – expanding opportunities for participation, while supporting social distancing and safety for the neuromuscular disease community who are at high risk for COVID-19.

"Labor Day Weekend has always been an incredibly important fundraising time for MDA and now, during the pandemic it is more critical than ever for our vulnerable community," said Lynn O'Connor Vos, President and CEO of MDA. "COVID-19 won't stop us as we embrace virtual events for our MDA Muscle Walks, our long-standing Harley-Davidson Ride for Strength, our IAFF Fill the Boot program, and our fall galas. We will continue to raise awareness for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases so we can fund the research and care to find cures."

MDA Virtual Muscle Walk

On Sept. 5, MDA supporters from across the U.S. will join forces for the largest MDA Muscle Walk ever. Throughout the day, MDA will host a variety of programming to get people moving, including a spin class with Flywheel instructor Colin Batty and an accessible fitness class with YouTuber Jackson Everything. The day will culminate at 3 p.m. ET when alumni MDA National Ambassador, Justin Moy hosts an Instagram Live Celebration event with planned attendees from around the country including top fundraising families, IAFF partners and Instagram influencer Jennifer Sierra who lives with SMA. People can tune in live and participate on the MDA Team Momentum Facebook and Instagram pages. Almost $1 million has been raised heading into this year's event, with over 3,000 people scheduled to participate in the festivities. The virtual MDA Muscle Walk is supported by national sponsors Biogen and the Numotion Foundation. The public can register and join a team, create their own team or donate here.

Virtual Harley-Davidson MDA Ride for Life

Join alumni MDA National Ambassador Faith Fortenberry and her family for Virtual Harley-Davidson MDA Ride for Life.
Join alumni MDA National Ambassador Faith Fortenberry and her family for Virtual Harley-Davidson MDA Ride for Life.

MDA Ride for Life, the single, largest purpose-driven Harley-Davidson fundraising ride in the world, is celebrating its 33rd year as a fundraising event, and its unprecedented first year as a virtual event. Held over Labor Day Weekend virtually, this year's event is open to riders everywhere. Riders who raise a minimum of $125 will earn a limited-edition Ride for Life 33 T-shirt, designed exclusively for Ride for Life and MDA by Danial James of the Scott Jacobs Studio. Register to join the ride here and tune in to the MDA RFL Facebook page to see the live RFL Celebration Ceremony on Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. ET, where one lucky rider will win a 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle, courtesy of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. The virtual event is sponsored by East Penn Manufacturing, the Eastern H-D Dealers Association, Western PA H-D Dealers Association and Harley-Davidson.

MDA's celebrations for MDA Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month will continue throughout the month of September, with the continuation of the storied Fill the Boot campaign with IAFF; and several virtual events and opportunities to give back including:

Fall Galas:

Beginning in September, MDA will kick off its Fall gala series, a culmination of high-profile fundraisers that were cancelled and moved to virtual format due to COVID-19. Each streamed event will include visits from MDA ambassadors, mission moments and special auction items. Learn more and register for the event of your choosing: Toast to Life on Sept.3, Black-N-Blue on Sept. 11, Night of Hope on Oct. 23 and Muscle Team on Nov. 10.

MDA Let's Play

Gamers of all levels are invited to join MDA Let's Play, a community of patients, supporters, friends and family united by a love of gaming. Every Saturday, at 7 p.m. ET, MDA Let's Play hosts a wide variety of video games as well as unique moments with gaming influencers, special guests, celebrities, fundraising events, esports tournaments, prizes and more. Previous hosts have included prominent gamers like YouTubers LordMinon777 and JeromeASF. Join the MDA Let's Play Discord to participate in the weekly game nights, including a special edition Labor Day Weekend event on Sept. 5.

Visit MDA.org to learn more about any of the September events; and how you can support "MDA National Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month" and donate.

SOURCE: Muscular Dystrophy Association