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2014 Twin Cities MDA Muscle Walk


Join us for the MDA Muscle Walk.

Please help us cross the finish line and FINISH STRONG together as a team. Join us for the Muscle Walk and we’ll have a great time for a great cause. You can also make a donation today, and help us reach our fundraising goal to support the families who depend on  MDA. Together, we grow stronger.
Make a Muscle. Make a Difference.®



MDA has done a lot for me since I was diagnosed. Out of everything they have done, there’s two things that have been important and memorable to me.


Having an older brother who had already been diagnosed with SMA by the time I was born, I was born in to the MDA family. I say “family” because that’s truly what MDA is. The staff doesn’t just work for you, they work with you. They have always been there to help find services, equipment and other supports that are needed. Even if there’s nothing tangible you need, they are always there to support you, encourage you and comfort you whenever you need it… just like family does. They take an interest in you, your family and your activities… just like family does. I remember times I was in the hospital as a child and various staff members would come sit with me so my family could have a break. They would bring me my favorite goodies and play games with me. That wasn’t something they had to do. It wasn’t part of their job. But they did it because they cared… just like family would. Whether it’s the awesome staff in the office working countless hours on fundraising and support services; or the doctors and specialists working tirelessly caring for patients at the clinic and conducting research in the lab, they are always there to answer your questions, help you find resources or to simply support you… just like any family member would. I have many fond memories of my MDA family – past and present. I love my MDA family.


For 14 years I got to have “the best week of the year” by attending MDA Summer Camp. I know lots of kids get to go to a camp of some kind every summer and I know there are many kids who wish they had the opportunity to go to a camp. But, MDA Summer Camp is different and for a child with a neuromuscular disease, it’s different. Imagine being one of the only kids in school in a wheelchair or with some kind of a disability that makes you obviously different than your peers. Imagine being one of the only kids in your neighborhood in a wheelchair or with some kind of disability that makes you obviously different than your peers. Imagine having to sit on the sidelines while your classmates run around on the playground during recess. Imagine having to sit in your yard while the rest of the neighborhood kids ride their bikes around and do jumps and tricks. Imagine you and your family having to adapt to doing things differently because your disability limits you from doing most things the way everyone else does them. Imagine being the outcast. Now… imagine being surrounded by 70-100+ kids just like you – some are in wheelchairs and some have other physical limitations. Imagine running around or cruising around in your wheelchair having a squirt gun fight or playing Capture the Flag. Imagine being able to do everything and every activity on your own or with a little help because it’s been designed with your abilities in mind. Imagine laughing and smiling and making friendships and memories that will last you a lifetime. Imagine just being one of the kids, if only for a week. That’s what MDA Summer Camp is and why it’s important. Every child should get to experience just being a kid. My very first camp volunteer when I was eight years old was Lynn. I loved having her by my side. I loved our laughter. I loved our time together. She and her family became lifelong friends with me and my family. Even though they have moved out of state, I still consider them to be good friends of mine and greatly value their friendship. Every child should have the opportunity to make lifelong friendships just like this. I now have the honor of getting to help provide “the best week of the year” for the new generations of campers. I feel it’s so important to be able to give back and make sure kids get to have the same experiences I did at camp. Volunteering at camp is truly the most rewarding thing I do. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity for anything – yes, anything – in the world. Seeing the kids smiling and laughing, have the best time while making friendships and memories I know are going to last a lifetime, truly makes my heart smile.


My time at MDA Summer Camp helped me become who I am today. It’s truly a magical place. Please support me in walking to help make camp and all of the priceless things that come with it, possible for the new and future generations of campers. As Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota USA 2013-2014 my team goal is to raise enough to send two kids to camp. Let’s do this!


Jen Onsum


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