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MDA Fast Facts
What is MDA?
MDA is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement.
What is muscular dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of genetic muscle diseases marked by progressive degeneration of voluntary muscles. MDA’s program includes nine main forms of muscular dystrophy and more than 30 other neuromuscular diseases which vary in genetic basis, age of onset, rate of progression and muscles affected.
What does MDA do to fight muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular diseases?
MDA spends $65 a minute, every minute of the year, supporting more than 250 research projects worldwide searching for treatments and cures for the more than 40 diseases in its program.
How does MDA help in our community?
MDA has the most comprehensive program of any voluntary health agency in the country, providing the following services through 120 local offices in the United States and Puerto Rico:
Clinics — MDA’s nationwide network of 200 medical clinics, including more than 40 specialized MDA/ALS centers, is staffed by top health professionals skilled in the diagnosis and medical management of neuromuscular diseases. Services may include occupational, physical and respiratory therapy; diagnostic tests; genetic counseling; and more.
Summer camp — Local youngsters ages 6 to 17 with neuromuscular diseases can attend a free week of camp, with activities like fishing, dancing, games, arts and crafts, and more.
Support groups — Local groups offer emotional and practical support to individuals affected by neuromuscular disease, their families and caregivers.
Equipment help — MDA accepts donations of gently used durable medical equipment, repairs these items as needed, and provides them to individuals with neuromuscular disease to enhance mobility, independence and quality of life.
Free annual flu shots
Online support services — Through MDA’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest communities, individuals and families can stay connected, as well as through myMuscleTeam, an online service that helps individuals and families coordinate volunteer help.
Advocacy — MDA works with federal agencies and other organizations to accelerate therapy development and expand resources for families affected by muscle disease. MDA’s Transitions Center is an interactive site focused on empowering young people with neuromuscular disease.
Public and professional health education — MDA provides the latest research and health care news in print and online (mda.org); sponsors educational conferences; and offers informational publications covering all the diseases under MDA’s umbrella, plus MDA programs and services.
How efficient is MDA?
Of every dollar MDA spends, 77 cents goes directly to research, services, and public and professional health education.
What do your dollars buy?
$30 Flu shot
$65 One minute of research
$100 One support group session
$150 One occupational, physical, respiratory or speech therapy consultation
$300 Professional fees related to initial diagnostic work-up at an MDA clinic
$500 Annual repairs of durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs, legbraces, communication devices and more
$800 Week at MDA summer