Telethon Raises Money For MDA

7 years 3 months 1 week ago Tuesday, September 07 2010 Sep 7, 2010 Tuesday, September 07, 2010 4:50:52 AM CDT September 07, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - From 10:00 p.m. Sunday night, until 6:00 p.m. Monday, KOMU was the home of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Mid Missouri telethon. The telethon raised $384,580 during this period, with the help of about 70 volunteers answering phone calls.

This is the 45th National MDA telethon, and the 44th telethon in mid-Missouri.

Caitlyn Bartley, a 19 year old Lincoln University student, was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy 18 years ago at the age of 1. She has not missed a MDA Mid Missouri telethon since.

"I know where you live, so call in now!" Bartley told KOMU viewers.

She believes that her humor will draw more donations to the cause.

"I'm not into the negativity, I do have muscular dystrophy, but there is no reason to be negative, I would rather get people to donate by making them laugh," Bartley explained.

According the Bartley, the MDA has helped thousands with MDA throughout the country, including herself. The MDA helped send her to summer camp several times, but this is not the organizations only service.

"They help pay for medical bills, they also help pay for wheelchair repairs, they pay for support groups, they like, when you're being diagnosed, they will pay for the diagnostic bills," she explained.

However MDA funding is expensive, each minute of research costs the organization $70.

Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disease that doesn't just affect children.

"It can affect just about anyone, some your born with, some come later in life," said MDA Executive Director of Mid Missouri Ryan Hopper.

However without the help of volunteers, telethons like this would not be able to succeed. Several groups took shifts throughout the day and night to answer donor phone calls. Including a group of Kohl's employees from Jefferson City and Columbia.

"We are willing to give our time to do this, all these people that you see from Kohl's are volunteers today, no one is getting paid, we are all here on our own time to help raise money," said Jefferson City Kohl's manager Karen Jefferies.

Bartley believes that with the funding from telethons, and other donations will eventually lead to a cure.

"There is definitely a cure in the future you know, I'm sure not really sure how soon, but I do know until a cure is found, MDA will do everything they can to help," said Bartley.

Until a cure is found the MDA will continue its work to provide for those with Muscular Dystrophy.

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