With a new slogan of MDA SHOW of STRENGTH, the 2012 MDA Telethon will again have a changed format. It will run on Sunday, September 2, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET. As always, it will include performances and celebrity appearances, with headline performances from Carrie Underwood, Carole King, Will.i.am, and Pitbull. The show will also feature stories about six individuals and families affected by neuromuscular disease.
In 2011, the MDA significantly changed the Telethon format in response to the changing nature of the television audience. Rather than the former 21 ˝ hour format, it ran during prime time television for 6 hours on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. For the first time, aspects of social media were also included, with online posts and “tweets” being a part of the show, as well as a wide variety of entertainment.
The 2012 MDA Labor Day Telethon will run on almost 150 television “Love Network” stations across the nation. Visit the MDA website to find the station in your area that airs the telethon. It will also be streamed live from their website.
After the 2011 Telethon, the MDA announced that it had raised 61.5 million dollars. In 2010, the event raised over 58 million dollars.
Since 1966, the Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day (MDA) Telethon has been entertaining us and raising funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Funds go to support MDA services to the neuromuscular diseases community, including clinical services, research, advocacy, summer camps, public education, flu shots and more.
The first MDA telethon starred comedian Jerry Lewis and ran over Labor Day weekend on a single television station in New York. It was hugely successful, and raised over 1 million dollars for the MDA.
Since then, the telethon has become an annual Labor Day weekend event. Featuring Jerry Lewis and many other celebrity performers, the telethon brings together celebrities, businesses, organizations, and volunteers from around the country. Almost every year, the telethon has succeeded in raising more money than it did during the previous telethon.
Perhaps you wonder what the MDA Telethon has to do with you. As a member of the neuromuscular disease community, you either have a neuromuscular disease or care for someone with neuromuscular disease. You know how these diseases affect people and their health. You hope for effective treatments and cures for those with neuromuscular diseases.
The MDA provides cutting edge treatment for those with neuromuscular disease. Through the MDA clinics, anyone in the U.S. with one of the neuromuscular diseases covered by the MDA can be referred by their physician to receive treatment.
Across the world, the MDA funds more than 300 research projects. Researchers rely on these funds to study the mechanisms behind neuromuscular disease and to develop and test treatments for these diseases.
The clinics and research funded by the MDA require money to continue their work, as do the many other programs run by the MDA. As members of the neuromuscular disease community, we must lead the way in educating others about neuromuscular disease, and assisting the MDA in whatever way that we can.
For the past two years, I have helped at my local telethon event, including answering phones for donations and being interviewed by a local television station. This year, I plan to participate again however I am needed. I encourage you to get involved in supporting the MDA in whatever way you can, as well.
Muscular Dystrophy Association (n.d.). MDA Labor Day Telethon History. MDA website. http://www.mda.org/about/telethon-history . Retrieved 8/15/12.
Muscular Dystrophy Association (n.d.). MDA Prime-Time Telethon Achieves 61.5 Million. MDA website press release. http://mda.org/media/press-releases/mda-prime-time-telethon-achieves-615-million . Retrieved 8/15/12.
Muscular Dystrophy Association website (n.d.). Love Network. http://mda.org/showofstrength/love-network. Retrieved 9/2/10.
Olivas, R., (2012). MDA Show of Strength Features Star-Studded Talent, Focuses on Families. MDA website press release. http://mda.org/media/press-releases/mda-show-strength-features-star-studded-talent-focuses-families . Retrieved 8/15/12.
Quest Staff (2011). MDA Labor DayTelethon 2011: Short, Snappy, Sensational. Quest, 18: 3. http://quest.mda.org/article/mda-labor-day-telethon-2011-short-snappy-sensational . Retrieved 8/15/12.