Through the MDA and Mike Bellotti, children living with neuromuscular diseases have been presented the opportunity to be recognized for their incredible strength and to share their experiences with others.
This strength never goes unrecognized by the MDA and those involved with the cause. Annually, MDA and Mike Bellotti present local Eugene children living with neuromuscular diseases "Courage Awards." These "Courage Awards" are awarded to children who have the courage and strength to share their experiences of having a neuromuscular disease and providing awareness in the community.
Masin lives in Lebanon, OR. He is an avid Oregon Ducks fan and hopes to make it to a game this season. Masin is the Goodwill Ambassador for Central Oregon, he and his family are committed to disability awareness. They have worked tirelessly to share the impact of living with muscular dystrophy throughout the state. For Masin, MDA Summer Camp is a week of barrier-free life where he gets to swim, sing, dance and participate in modified activities. There is nowhere else that Masin can experience independence like he can at MDA Summer Camp. It's an experience Masin would not be able to have without the support of individuals and businesses in the community.
Jeffrey is from Eugene, OR. Over the past few years Jeffrey has had numerous surgeries and was recently diagnosed with a cardiomyopathy. Because of his medical needs, Jeffrey's mom Tonya was reluctant to send Jeffrey to MDA Summer Camp. But after thinking long and hard, Tonya came to the realization that Jeffrey never gets to do anything without her or his aid. Camp gave him the chance to be independent, to play, and spend time with other kids.
Jeffrey and Masic were both diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) when they were around three years old. DMD is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness that affects mostly boys. Nearly all children with DMD lose the ability to walk some time between ages 7 and 12. Most boys with DMD will live into their early twenties.
In their 11 years, Masin and Jeffrey have faced more challenges than most adults ever will. They have both handled these challenges with an inspiring amount of strength and courage.
Nanda Sturm, Executive Director