Steve Derks is Raising Funds to Fuel the Fight for Muscle Health

Earlier this year, I proudly signed up for MDA Team Momentum as the very first participant in our exciting new endurance fundraising and engagement program. I planned to raise funds, train hard and run the Boston Half Marathon on Sept. 14, 2014, in honor of our MDA families across the United States fighting Duchenne muscular dystrophy, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), spinal muscular atrophy and other muscle diseases. I launched my site, received some early support and planned to fundraise during the summer months.

Those plans changed on an early morning 5-mile run on May 22, when with one bad foot placement I fractured my ankle and tore some ligaments in my leg.

I’m fortunate now to be on the path to recovery, regaining my strength, my mobility and my ability to exercise and run. Fittingly, perhaps, to a very limited degree, dealing with this injury has provided me with a sliver of insight into the mobility challenges that people living with muscle disease face every single day. Unfortunately, for the diseases MDA covers, loss of mobility — and in some cases the independence that goes along with it — is permanent. With degenerative muscle disease, there’s no regaining muscle strength once it’s lost.

Fortunately, MDA has led the fight for treatments and cures, as well as services, for people fighting muscle disease for 64 years. MDA leadership, funding and support are tied to every major advance in muscle disease research today. We now have a number of human clinical trials underway to test experimental drugs that MDA helped launch with early-stage research funding — a number of which are showing potential signs of efficacy in helping maintain muscle strength. But we still don't have curative, disease-modifying and strength-enhancing treatments.

Despite the remarkable progress we’ve made in the fight for muscle health, a great deal of work remains to be done — that’s where I’m hoping you can help.

Just as our families work through adversity and modify their plans, I have modified mine. I’m now training to participate in the Dallas Half Marathon on Dec. 14, 2014, and I hope I can count on your support.  

Please consider donating to MDA in support of my efforts. Your donation will help us make life-enhancing changes to peoples’ lives every day as we invest in research to find treatments and cures, provide our families with health care services and day-to-day support, and bring communities together to raise awareness and fight for a world free from the harmful effects of muscle disease. 

You might also check out this video: of me doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds for ALS. I encourage you to take up the challenge as well, and make a donation in support of the world-class ALS research and services that the MDA provides.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. 



Thank you to our National MDA Team Momentum Sponsors!