Telethon 2009 was a reminder of just how many friends are pulling for MDA’s missions of help and hope in these difficult financial times: the celebrity co-hosts and entertainers who donate their time and talents; the national sponsors who fundraise year-round for MDA; the individuals and families affected by muscle diseases who share their lives with a national audience; the thousands of Telethon volunteers who toil around the country; and the “Love Network” stations and RealNetworks, who make sure these combined efforts are seen by viewers.
These champions give me hope, and I’m sure you feel the same.
Despite the ongoing economic downturn and the cutbacks MDA has been forced to make, the core of MDA’s programs — research — is going strong and will remain so. This magazine is full of information about MDA-funded research advances and programs, including the newly launched program for parents and youth called "Road Map to Independence."
Part of our plan for riding out the current tough times is to take advantage of technology wherever we can. So, yes, in 2009 we decreased the frequency of Quest and, unfortunately, 2010 will see a significant decrease in pages in the printed magazine. But MDA actually is disseminating more health and research news now than ever before, thanks to the Quest Extra features on our Web site, and e-mail “blasts” to those who have provided us with their e-mail addresses.
In addition, we’ve improved our Web site to facilitate access to the rich trove of MDA public health information produced over the years. Now when you're reading about a topic online, links to related information will automatically pop up on the Web page.
It’s true that the economy has affected donations to MDA from corporations, organizations and individuals. We’re working in every way possible to reverse that trend.
Meanwhile, our focus on defeating progressive muscle diseases has not wavered one iota. With the continued help of our national sponsors, “Love Network” stations, volunteers and donors across the country, I’m confident we’ll come out of this current financial upset stronger than ever.
With every best wish,
Gerald C. Weinberg
President & CEO