The weekend of the Annual General Meeting also hosts a dinner where the recipients of the Dr. David Green Awards are given their awards and a chance to address the audience. These national awards, which recognize the efforts of several extraordinary volunteers, clients, Fire Fighters, corporate supporters, and researchers, are handed out annually. I had the honour of attending the banquet in Toronto of September 2011, and was blown away by the dedication and passion shown by all in attendance. All the winners had heartfelt words to share, but one speech really stood out.
The McGonigal family including Angela and her son Owen, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, won both the National and Ontario “Courage to Inspire” awards. Owen summed up his feelings with a succinct “thank you,” while Angela said thanks by sharing a poignant story with the group. Angela explained that while her family took a rest before the Awards dinner they discussed what they should say as they accepted their award. Angela received a text message right at that moment from Fire Fighter friends letting the family know the regional Boot Drive campaign was going well. Angela told the audience that was just how being part of Muscular Dystrophy Canada was, even when you need to take a rest yourself, you know there are friends who are still working for the cause.
It’s a terrific way of recognizing the many pieces of the puzzle that come together in one unrelenting effort to reach Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s vision “to find a cure for neuromuscular disorders in our lifetime.”