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Families are at the heart of MDA's mission. We wake up every morning to create more hope and answers for families living with muscular dystrophy and related diseases that take away physical strength and mobility. We do this by finding research breakthroughs across diseases, caring for kids and adults from day one and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America.
MDA supports more research on neuromuscular diseases than any other private-sector organization in the world. MDA scientists are in the forefront of gene therapy research and have uncovered the genetic defects responsible for several forms of muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), childhood spinal muscular atrophy, and several other neuromuscular conditions.
The Association's comprehensive service program includes medical examinations, flu shots, support groups, MDA summer camps for youngsters and assistance with purchase of wheelchairs and leg braces.
MDA was created in 1950 by a group of adults with muscular dystrophy, parents of children with muscular dystrophy, and a physician-scientist studying the disorder. Since its earliest days it has been energized by its number-one volunteer and national chairman, entertainer Jerry Lewis.
The Association's programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors. MDA seeks no government grants, United Way funding or fees from those it serves.