Where hope begins….


As many of you already know, my daughter, Alyssa, was diagnosed last year with Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy and is affected in many different ways, both physically and mentally. Around Christmas time last year, we talked with her physicians and decided that it was time to get a wheelchair for her, for safety & comfort, as she had outgrown strollers and I could no longer carry her all the time since it was causing me to have back problems.

We had sticker shock when we were told how much her wheelchair would be! I had no idea that a wheelchair for a 4 year old could cost over $3000! Even thought we have great insurance, it still did not cover the full expense and we were left with a decent balance that we would owe to be able to provide her what she needed.

Well, that is where MDA stepped in. Alyssa’s medical condition is one that is supported through the Muscular Dystrophy Association and so we became involved with them and they were able to provide the rest of the funds needed for her wheelchair. We are so grateful for the assistance that we received and for the continued work of MDA.

Now I am asking for your help. The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon is quickly approaching and we would like to help raise fund so that other children with neuromuscular problems can also be helped by MDA. So, there are several different ways you can help…

1. Alyssa has a goal to raise $500 for MDA. You can view her page and donate directly here. (UPDATE: Alyssa raised over $600 thanks to everyone who donated! You are greatly appreciated!)

(Thank you to those who have already donated: Lori Anderson, Shawn & Dawn Jones, Roberta Brock, Martha Hurst, Martin Weiss, Rick King, Jeff & Lori Watson, Hal Wade, Joe & Joyce King, Samantha Andersen, Jennifer Shaffer, Jerry Amos & Anonymous donor!)

2. Bid on an item you would like through the online auction. I have donated a family portrait session & 16×20 wall print to the auction. It has over a $200 value, but I would love to see it go for even more!!! You can view the auction for the session & wall print here.

3. Donate and item for the auction.

4. Volunteer. There are many opportunities to volunteer for MDA. If you are in East Tennessee, call Julie Coker at (865) 588-1632 to see how you can help. You can also visit MDA Knoxville’s MySpace page to read about the opportunities.

Thank you in advance for all of your support. I am blessed to have such wonderful friends, family, clients, and colleagues!


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