MD ACTion has arrived and in Connor's words -
"It's all about ACTION for MD!"
David Hall - inaugural President MD ACTion
Many families and individuals of Canberra and surrounds living with MD, travel to Melbourne regularly to partake of the MDA funded "muscle clinic" and clinical trials offering potential therapies for MD.
With the growth in service provision to the ACT MD community, particularly during the past decade and our frequent interactions with the Territory Government, Federal Government and other agencies, there had been a growing call and demand for the establishment of a new MD entity in Canberra.
The ACT Community wanted the establishment of a reliable, robust ethical organisation to represent their needs and to be a conduit to the Territory Government, Federal Government and other agencies.
With long-time supporter of MDA and local resident David Hall willing to pick up the mantle, what better time than now to formalise the operations of the preceding decade and launch MD ACTion.
David Hall said, "this is all about providing a solid base for the emerging growth in demand for even more support and services to our community." In Dave's case it IS all about "our" community, he has first-hand experience living with MD with his youngest son Connor, affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Joachim, Connor and Claudia
Dave not only "talks the talk", but he "walks the talk" as well, with his magnificent fundraising through his participation in ChallengeMD! Nepal and more recently ChallengeMD! Mt Blanc. Dave has raised tens of thousands of dollars for research and services. Together with volunteers he has been active on many a weekend in shopping centres manning the various BBQs or collection tins to raise funds for MD.
What better person to take up the battle, than one who has achieved so much already and a person who subscribes to the highest morals and ethics in his support of our community.
So, on a bright sunny morning, members of the MD Community, Canberra Hospital Staff, school representatives, volunteers, donors and sponsors gathered at the Canberra Airport Conference Centre for the launch of MD ACTion.
The audience was enthralled to see the high impact video presentation which MDA Executive Director Boris M Struk, said "set the scene for what this fight is all about". He then introduced John Hargreaves MLA for Brindabella to officially launch MD ACTion.
Boris M Struk
In addition to the launch of MD ACTion, long time volunteers of the local MD Community were recognised for their support and fundraising efforts. Claudia Holland – Year 10 student and Joachim Fatiaki – Year 12 student at Saint Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Brian Shea – the owner of the Friendly Grocer shop at the Gowrie Shops and volunteer Karen Watson were presented with Achievement Awards.
Sometimes it is nice to "spring a surprise" and this was the case with the final Award.
MDAmbassador Laurie Stroud a staunch supporter, advocate and friend of Muscular Dystrophy was also recognised at the launch of MD ACTion.
He has represented MDA’s interests at the personal, business, corporate and political level and offered a different perspective which has made a significant difference to the MDA and the MD Community.
His involvement with MDA has been pivotal, inspiring and positive.
His manner aligns with that of a quiet achiever, who strives beyond the borders of the ACT and represents the National effort to the betterment of all in his role as an MDAmbassador for more than 10 years –fittingly, Laurie Stroud was presented with the Achievement Award by MD ACTion inaugural President David Hall and John Hargreaves MLA for Brindabella.
John Hargreaves MLA presents Laurie Stroud with Certificate
The final presentation of vital (to the MD Community) medical equipment - a Cough Assist, was made to Canberra Hospital on behalf of the Independent Property Group.
Laurie Stroud with John Runko and the Cough Assist
John Runko, CEO Independent Property Group, said "we believe that an obligation of our success is to give back to the community that has contributed to that success. We have a strong family culture of mutual support and assistance and we are keen to share that with the wider community, giving our staff pride in making a difference to those in need."
John's generosity extended to the donation of $10,000 from the Independent Property Group Foundation, which enabled the purchase of a Cough Assist. We recognise and value this donation which will make a significant difference to those affected by MD.
"Thank you to the Independent Property Group Foundation"
With formalities over and media interviews and television cameras coming to a stop, it was time to relax and get-together informally over coffee and cakes.MD ACTion has arrived and in Connor's words - "It's all about ACTION for MD!
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