Enumclaw firefighter and EMT Ryan Rodenberg has been busy in the last few weeks overseeing the local department's annual Fill-the-Boot fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and then heading off to eastern Washington to help battle ongoing wildfires sparked earlier this month by lightning.
So we couldn't blame him that it took a while to announce that this year's Fill-the-Boot campaign, which occurred on August 10 in Enumclaw, collected a grand total of $11,835 from the community this year.
"We set a record this year and wanted to thank the community for its gracious support," he wrote to Patch this week. "It was amazing to see so many good hearted folks donating to a good cause. ... We always beat bigger fire departments because of our intense community support, and all the firefighters that volunteer their time and energy for an entire day."
Rodenberg said he along with four other firefighters from the department volunteered this year at an MDA camp and saw first-hand how the organization is helping to level the playing field for those who are afflicted with the disease.
"They have assistive technology to get these kids on bikes, in swimming pools, interacting with a huge pool of good people, and allowing them to do all sorts of things that they could never do without the Muscular Dystrophy Association," he said.
The MDA has been working with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) since 1954 when the organization pledged to support MDA until a cure is found for every muscle disease. In 2011, fire fighters nationally raised more than $28 million for MDA.
For those who helped fill the boot this year, Rodenberg shared some information about what the MDA does:
- 88 percent of every dollar MDA spends goes directly to research, services and education.
- MDA spends $70 a minute in its worldwide research program, supporting some 300 projects. This includes life-saving projects at UW, Children’s Hospital, VA Hospital and Fred Hutchinson.
- MDA maintains a nationwide network of 200 clinics, including more than 40 MDA/ALS centers. Local health clinics are at UW and Children’s Hospital.
- MDA clinics are staffed by teams of top health professionals skilled in the diagnosis and medical management of muscular dystrophy and related diseases. Services provided at MDA clinics may include occupational and respiratory therapy, selected diagnostic tests, genetic counseling and more.
- MDA annually sponsors nearly 80 weeklong summer camp sessions, serving some 3,500 children across the country. More than 4,300 volunteers give a week of their time to serve as MDA camp counselors and medical staff.
- MDA’s equipment program 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.
Here are some of the costs associated with MDA operations:
- $30 Flu shot
- $70 One minute of MDA-supported 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
- $800 Week at MDA Summer Camp at Camp Cedar Springs in Lake Stevens for one child