Muscular Dystrophy Association {a Call to Action}

Hi Readers! From time to time I have the privilege to spotlight worthy non-profits and fund raisers for good causes. I feel that part of my job as a blogger is to bring awareness ways that you can help others. What is fun about today is that my guest poster is also my COUSIN- Andy Nelson. :) 

The thing about Andy that I’ve always loved is that he’s involved. He cares. From the time I was in high school I remember getting envelopes from him in the mail about different fundraisers and about his involvement with the Boys & Girls Club. He lives out his life in a way that is inspirational but real. We didn’t  grow up close like some cousins as we lived across the country from each other and reunions were few and far between- but I only have the best memories of him being caring and kind to me. Regardless of what people say about Facebook, I’m thankful for it because it allowed me to actually get to know my cousin in a way I never would have. :) Hear him out, donate or get yourself involved somehow helping someone else! – Heidi


Help me! I’m locked up and need your donations to get out!
Okay, so I’m not really in jail, but as a part of the annual fundraiser for the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, I am getting “locked up” and need to raise $2400 in bail to get out. And I need your help!

MDA Summer Camp 2
But first, you’re probably wondering who I am. The name’s Andy, and I am Heidi’s cousin. I live in Arizona with my lovely wife and two adorable kids. My princess is a precocious six-year-old and my little buddy-boy is a very headstrong two. They truly are the light of my wife’s and my life. Absolutely wonderful children, and we’re very lucky to have them.

Like so many of us, I do my best to pay the bills, make a little extra to get the kids into college, and make sure we can go do things we want to do when we want. But something else I always try to do is find ways to help others. I spent 6 years as a Big Brother in my local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters to a young man named Dustin. He started as a troubled and troublesome 12-year-old but now is a well-balanced young man married to the love of his life.

And now I am working to raise money to help children afflicted with muscular dystrophy get to camp this summer. MDA camps provide opportunities for kids with muscular dystrophy to just be a kid and have fun. For 51 weeks of the year, these children struggle with day-to-day life, dealing with the limitations provided by their muscular dystrophy. The summer camp provides them a place to have fun with no barriers. They arrange all sorts of activities specially designed for people with limited mobility or who use wheelchairs. It is an important thing for these children, giving them a special time when they can have fun and be a kid.

Now, like you, I’ve been aware of the MDA for years. Ever since I saw my first Jerry Lewis telethon. I’ve donated in the past even, but I never spent much time thinking about muscular dystrophy. So with that, I thought I would dig into it a bit and provide you with some interesting facts. That way, we can all better understand this disease.

So here we go:

Did you know that…

  • *Muscular Dystrophy literally means “faulty nutrition of the muscles.” It is characterized by the progressive wasting and weakening of healthy muscle tissue and is replaced by useless fat and hard fibrous tissue.
  • *The disease is hereditary.
  • *There are more than 30 varieties of muscular dystrophy. Some, like Duchenne, only affect boys, but there are varieties that can affect both boys and girls.
  •  *The disease’s most common forms, Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, alone affect approximately 1 in 3,500 to 5,000 boys. That is between 400 and 600 boys born in the US each year!
  • *The frustrating thing about the disease is that the nerves work fine but the muscles stop working. This means the brain can tell the body what it wants to do, but the body won’t listen.
  • *It’s very important for those with the disease to be physically active – as much as they can be – because being sedentary and inactive can make the muscles deteriorate faster.
  • *There is no known cure for muscular dystrophy, even though significant headway has been made in recent years and therapy can help.
  •  *The MDA started offering their summer camps in 1955? That’s right – they’ve been doing this great program for 58 years!!!
  •  *Jerry Lewis started his telethons unofficially in 1952. In 1966, the first official Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon aired and raised an astounding $1,002,114! As of 2007, they had raised $1.46 billion!!!

It’s a frustrating disease, and one that will hopefully have a cure sometime in the near future. In the meantime, though, let’s at least try to help get these kids to camp. Let’s give these kids a chance to relax and have fun – to just be kids for a while!

If you can help me post bail, I’d appreciate it. Just go to my website – — and donate what you can. I need $2400 to get out of the slammer! And if you can’t, I totally understand. At least I got you thinking about the disease so you can find your own way to help out down the line. Who knows – maybe you’ll offer yourself up to be put in the slammer next year? Every little bit helps, right?


Meet Andy!!! Obsessed with telling stories, making movies, and talking about movies since sixth grade, I split my time between my right brain – line producing, production management – and my left brain – directing and writing. I work at Randy Murray Productions as Head of Production, teach screenwriting at Scottsdale Community College and am co-host on a weekly movie podcast called “The Next Reel,” Any project with which I’m involved, I always seek to pull the best story forth from it. It’s my passion.
I’m an avid collector of and listener to film music. I love the magic of reading a well-written screenplay. My favorite movie is Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. And completely unrelated to the movie, I can actually say I’ve spent time in Brasil.





  • Andrea Potter Kruse

    Thanks for all the great info. Going to share and crossing my fingers you can scratch up enough dough to get sprung. :)

  • TheBusyNothings

    I feel a bit weird commenting on a blog post that I posted- but I just wanted to say thanks again to Andy for bring to light such a great cause. I can’t relate to a lot of what these kids face so it’s great to read more about MDA to educate myself. Thanks!

  • Andy Nelson

    Thanks for letting me post this, Heidi! I appreciate it. Even if I don’t get the funds to get out (let’s hope I do!), I’m hoping that it’ll at least help people be more aware of what MD is and that they might try to find their own ways to help out!

  • Sydney

    Great post, Andy and Heidi! Sharing out to my Twitter network now! :)

  • lindseylu

    thanks for spotlighting a great cause, Heidi and Andy!

  • clgossett

    Very important cause and I was actually “locked up” once myself for this very thing! Good luck with your bail and I hope you raise way more than that to help find a cure for this hideous disease!

  • TheBusyNothings

    That is awesome Christy!

  • TheBusyNothings

    Thank you Sydney!

  • TheBusyNothings

    Thank you Andrea!

  • TheBusyNothings

    Thanks Lindsey- I honestly didn’t know much about this before now!

  • Lindi

    Heidi, I just love your heart to help the ones others don’t see in every little way you can. Sometimes I am just amazed I get to be your friend :) Love to you, your cousin, and all the sweeties that will have so much fun at summer camp because of people like you!

  • Monica Johnson

    Love that Andy (and you) are taking action, and engaging friends to help as well! Thank you for caring!

  • TheBusyNothings

    Oh Lindi, I am sooooo not worth of that comment. I feel blessed to have YOU in as a friend and glad that I can bring attention to the good that OTHERS are doing. :)

  • TheBusyNothings

    Thanks so much Monica!

  • Sarea Clark

    What a great and informative post! Thank you so much for sharing this Andy!

  • Heidi

    Thanks Sarea!