Jarvis partners with Muscular Dystrophy Association

Camille C. '21, Writer

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The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is an “American organization, formed in 1950, which combats muscular dystrophy and diseases of the nervous system and muscular system in general by funding research, providing medical and community services, and educating health professionals and the general public,” according to the MDA website.

Children and adults all over the world battle this disease. One student attending OHS as a senior is fighting as well. Jacob J. ‘19 has been dealing with MD for over 14 years of his life. People all over the nation, especially in Ohio, were inspired by Jacob J.’s story. One person in particular is former Ohio State University (OSU) football Head Coach Urban Meyer, as well as the Ohio State football team.

Jacob J. said he met Meyer in July of 2013. Since then the Ohio State team has donated over $10,000 each year to ‘Coach to Cure MD’,” according to a Fox 28 News story.

College coaches all over the country are participating in raising awareness for MDA, specifically with the “Coaches to Cure” event.

“Coach to Cure is held all over the world, and is when coaches wear a patch on their sleeve to help promote Duchenne awareness,” according to Fox News 28.

Jacob J. had the opportunity to get involved with the OSU football team, and with both current and former players. During the spring game scrimmage in 2018, Jacob J. got the chance to play a short game with player J.T. Barrett.

[Jacob J.] took a handoff from OSU player J.T. Barrett in his wheelchair, tucked the ball under his left arm and used some head fakes to juke to the end zone,” according to ESPN in an interview with Jacob J.

In local terms, students, teachers and coaches in the Olentangy Local School District (OLSD) are also helping to support the MDA foundation. Currently DECA members are fundraising to support this disease. They also encouraged  students donate money to have their teachers and administrators shave their heads or mustache if they raise enough money for the event.

“At OHS we are currently fundraising for MDA by asking students to donate money to see some of their teachers and administrators shave their heads. Another event we are doing over the summer is raising money to send the children with MDA to summer camp. With all these community events we are trying to form relationships with the children. The association does [the camp] so they can better understand how important it is to help them achieve their mission,” DECA member Addison M.’19 said.

Students at OHS have raised $1 thousand to support MDA, through the most recent fundraiser. This is a huge accomplishment for the DECA member who started the event.

“We raised over $1 thousand for MDA, and four teachers (Mr. Smith, Mr. Shaw, Mr.Wells, Mr. Weitthoff ) ended up shaving their head, which is a huge success for the foundation and disease,” Addison M said.

Students are getting more in touch with children who have this disease in their community. These children fighting for their life are getting amazing opportunities due to the public’s donations and fundraising.

“It is incredible for us to see all these amazing opportunities the children are getting in the world, but it is more incredible that they do not hold back just because they have muscular dystrophy,” Addison M. said.

The MDA foundation and members have opportunities on their website for people to participate in helping raise money for the disease. Some of these events include the MDA team momentum, MDA shamrocks program, “Fill the boot” and “The way for MDA.” Their most popular event is the MDA muscle walk.

“The MDA Muscle Walk is a life-changing event that strengthens families and communities. In more than 150 hometowns across America, every event includes a one – to 3.1-mile lap designed for participants of all ages and abilities, including a wheelchair and equipment friendly course,” the MDA foundation website said.

The MDA foundation appreciates every penny donated to the fundraiser, because that can help any kid recover from the disease. The money helps the foundation look for cures and research the disease.

Our generous donors, event participants and dedicated volunteers are the heart of MDA’s programs, which make it possible for MDA to continue funding groundbreaking research across diseases to find treatments and cures, support kids and adults from day one and empower families with services in support in your community and hometowns across America,” according to the MDA foundation website.