From the Desk – December 2014

Only a few days now until Santa places presents under the trees, delicious meals are shared in abundance and we have a chance to relax and reflect on a year that was. This is definitely a special time of year with Christmas spirit in the air and an opportunity for many to catch up with those in their lives who, for the most part of the year, a busy life gets in the way of seeing. It is important to take stock at this time of year and give yourself a moment to contemplate all that has occurred over the last 12 months.

This year, MDA saw many highs and a few unpredictable lows. But one lesson that definitely rang true year-long was although you may not be able to control what happens in life you can control how you react to situations. This notion is also very true for families of people living with MD, as they have no control over a condition which is both genetic and sporadic in nature, but they have the power to choose how they move forward.

We had a wonderful turn out for the 2014 ‘Run for Strength’ fun run event at Albert Park Lake with our biggest number of participants to date with so many smiling faces and keen supporters. Unfortunately, Mother Nature chose that very Sunday to put on a fierce rainstorm, but you know what, that didn’t dampen our spirits! Almost every single person still participated in the rain and I even had one woman tell me how she, “Hadn’t had this much fun in years, jumping through puddles like a little girl again.” It was wonderful to see people choose to have a positive attitude in an adverse situation.

National Superhero Week in September was a fantastic success for the second year running, with MDA featured on Channel Nine’s Today Show with Karl Stefanovic and also Channel Nine News, and over 30,000 people throughout Australia taking part. CampMDA in September was a brilliant week with people in the MD community from all walks of life getting together to share some wonderful times and create lifelong memories. I was also honoured to be nominated and then announced as a finalist for the ‘Senior Australian of the Year Award’. This recognition moved me and would not have been possible without the support of all of our MDA members and supporters, so for that I am truly grateful.

Earlier this month we had planned to host the inaugural MDA Big Boys Toys Car Show which was expected to be a spectacular event and shining star in the MDA annual calendar, but once again Mother Nature had other ideas. On the morning a freak weather storm flooded the grounds with water and rendered it completely inaccessible, however, I chose to see the silver lining. This postponement until Sunday 8 March 2015 has provided us more time to make the event bigger and better than previously organised.

There have been some devastating losses this year, such as several cherished members of our MD community, disability advocate Stella Young, the two people involved in the Sydney siege and now just a few days ago eight innocent children in Cairns; just to mention a few. But there have also been some wonderful achievements of our members and celebrated milestones in families that will not soon be forgotten.

As 2014 draws to a close this is a perfect time to reset and create New Year’s resolutions for 2015 that will inspire and action our hopes, dreams and aspirations.
To all of the MDA members, community, friends and supporters, I wish you a wonderful Christmas break and joyous New Year. I look forward to joining you all in 2015 to help in the fight to beat Muscular Dystrophy!