Inspired Walk for Muscular Dystrophy participant joins planning committee

Ikdip Brar-Peel RegionMy older brother, Mandip Brar, was only 23 years old when he passed away from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy over a year ago. He led his own team, Mandip’s Spirit Team, in the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy a few years ago. He said to me, “the least we can do is help raise money so a cure can be found for the younger ones with MD.” He had a big heart in hopes that a treatment or cure could be found for the younger generation with MD, regardless of whether or not a cure was found in his lifetime to save his life. He wanted to create a legacy as a leader – and my family and I have continued to make his legacy thrive by participating in the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy.

 Last year, our team raised over $6,200.00 and had over 20 team members that consisted of friends, family and local community members who participate in the Walk. I can genuinely say that this Walk brought the members of all the teams participating in the walk closer together – like a community- as we all bonded, shared stories, and enjoyed the awesome games and amazing prizes!  This year, I decided to join the committee for 2013 the Peel Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy because I was inspired by the Walk I participated in last year. I want to not only continue the success the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy has had in the past, but to have a larger turn out from the community and raise even more money to support this great cause. So far being in this committee, I met wonderful people with diverse backgrounds. I have learned a lot and I look forward to learning a lot more!

To end off, I want to give you all a hint of what is in store for this year’s Walk – a lot more exciting activities and prizes for all ages to enjoy! I am looking forward to this Walk because I know it will be the best one yet!

Ikdip Brar

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Day in the Life: Jason Davison, Sarnia Professional Firefighter and Rooftop Campout Participant

Jason Davison-SarniaJason Davison, Sarnia Professional Firefighters Association L492

Sarnia Professional Firefighters Association Rooftop Campout 

When Chris Ireland, our Muscular Dystrophy Canada Firefighter representative, approached us with the idea of the Rooftop Campout I knew that I wanted to be on that rooftop. It was something new and fresh that still incorporated filling the boot but with a twist and is for a great cause. As soon as Chris started looking for campers I e-mailed him immediately. Within a few days we had heard back that the following members would be camping on the roof: Kevin Leplante, Doug McCurdy, Brad Lumgair, Randy McDonald, Jim Rose and myself.

Sarnia RC 3Over the next couple of months the campers were busy organizing what amenities, activities, living areas, and entertainment would be needed to get us through the three days that we would be spending on the roof. Meanwhile, Chris would be extremely busy organizing sponsors for the event, donation of meals for the campers, lining up members of the association to volunteer their time to collect donations, and promoting the event.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 was the day we were heading up to the roof.  Here’s how our first day went:

Sarnia RC 18:00 am: We start the day off with a great breakfast that was cooked by the firefighters. Our families, friends, members of local council, and the public also came to for breakfast. A wonderful little boy named William, who was wearing his full firefighting gear, is also here to enjoy breakfast. William suffers from muscular dystrophy and came to support our Rooftop Campout. He joined us for the opening ceremonies and many pictures.

10:00 am: With the Honour Guard at attention and a piper playing, we say goodbye to our families and head up the ladder truck to the rooftop where we will spend the next three days.

12:00 pm: All of our meals were donated by generous restaurants from around Sarnia. For lunch today, we ate chicken wings, hamburgers, wraps and fries from Norm’s Pub and Grill on London Road in Sarnia. We also had many generous people send up treats!

2:00 pm: We host a few visitors while on the roof like local radio stations and a photographer to capture us in action.

Sarnia RC 55:00 pm: Brownstones sent us a great snack to enjoy before playing some more of our rooftop games.  On the rooftop we have one tent for sleeping in and one tent that we use for our living area where we eat our meals and play poker, Atari and table top hockey.  Coffee Lodge sends us some hot drinks to try and keep warm during our first evening on the roof!

By the second day we were running out of things to do so we went to Facebook to ask for some ideas, some of which were knitting, dancing and push ups! We also had a football that we threw back and forth as well as just hanging out and telling stories. It turned out to be a pretty great campout, even in December.  While we were on the roof collecting donations in the boot and hauling it up, many other firefighters donated their time in the mall by collecting donations and talking to the public. In total we raised over $14,000 which was way over our goal. Thank you Sarnia!  The after party was held at Brownstones restaurant. They provided us with appetizers and a great environment to hold our party. We had many raffles and one lucky winner won a 55″ TV!  I had a great overall experience. I really enjoyed my time on the roof with my fellow firefighters, and connecting with the community that gave to such a great cause. If I have the opportunity I will be doing it again!

Sarnia RC 4A rooftop campout is a fundraising event where Fire Fighters camp on the roof of a building and collect donations in support of Canadians affected by neuromuscular disorders.  Fire Fighter participants will endure below freezing temperatures, inclement weather, and whatever else nature throws their way during 3-day rooftop campouts to raise funds and awareness for muscular dystrophy.

You can donate to Rooftop Campouts by visiting the campout site during the event in person or by visiting each event’s online fundraising page.

Upcoming Rooftop Campouts will be held in: Edmonton (February 4-7); Spruce Grove (February 4-7); St. Albert (February 5-8); Strathcona (February); Leduc (February 4-7); Medicine Hat (February 22-24); Vernon (February 28-March 2); Penticton (February 28-March 3); London (February 28-March 3); Fort McMurray (April 4-7); Richmond Hill (March); Prince George (March) and Scugogg (May).  Visit our website and Facebook page for more details on these events or check your local newspapers and radio.

Year to Come: 2013

YeartoCome2013Muscular Dystrophy Canada is looking forward to another exciting year in 2013.  We’re just a year away from the 60th anniversary of the organization in 2014, and we have lots happening to lead to that milestone.

Our dedicated Fire Fighter partners ended 2012 with a bang by starting off the Rooftop Campout season in Sarnia, ON and Nelson, BC, where thousands of dollars were raised.  Many more Rooftop Campouts will occur in the next few months during Canada’s chilly winter!

The 2013 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy season will begin May 4th when the first Walk event happens in Toronto.  The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy staff and planning committees have been busy organizing and there will be some new features and fun times to be had at all the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events this year.  Be sure to check out the brand new Walk for Muscular Dystrophy site designed specifically for the Walk to read about all the details. Visit www.walkformusculardystrophy.ca.

There are several Research opportunities that have opened calls for applications, which can be found in the body of Moveit! and on our website.  In the fall, a publication called “Research in the Works” will be available to provide updates on all of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s research news.

Continue to read Moveit!, follow our Facebook, Twitter and blog and visit our website to stay updated on the many fundraising, research and services events that will come up in 2013.  Looking forward to a great 2013 filled with making muscles move! What are you most looking forward to?

Walk for Muscular Dystrophy offers fellowship and fun

Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Niagara 2012 013Although raising funds to support those affected by neuromuscular disorders is a goal of the Walk, it is not the only part. The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy is a fully inclusive, fun, family event. Far beyond the dollars and cents, the experiences, bonds, information and connections that people often come away with are more than they could have imagined.

Muscular dystrophy affects a broad range of people from all walks of life and varying ages. The Walk is an event that not only encourages people who are affected to attend, but also friends, family members, community members and general supporters. “The Walk gives everyone a chance to get together to meet other families and friends who are dealing with neuromuscular disorders,” said Brian Mino, a Niagara Region Walk planning committee member and long-time participant.

The environment at the Walk encourages participants  to socialize and offers the opportunity to meet people that you would not have necessarily gotten to otherwise. For some people, it is nice to meet others who understand them in a way that no one else can. It is a great way to share story, exchange ideas and make new friends.

Walk for Muscular Dystrophy Niagara 2012 012Brian and his family appreciate the sense of community they feel at the Walk. “The event is a fun-filled day and a great opportunity to meet other people within the region who want to support this great cause. We enjoy meeting all the other people that are somehow affected by Muscular Dystrophy and this reminds us that we are not alone in the fight to find a cure,” he said.

For many people, it is the life-long connections and memories that makes them return year after year. It’s also the opportunity to see familiar faces and bring together a group of friends that only see each other at the Walks that keeps them coming back.

Join your community and create memories at the 2013 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy!