Featured in this article: MDA website to honor caregivers * Get your flu shot * DECA and MDA celebrate their 30th anniversary
MDA is observing National Family Caregivers Month with a host of special features and activities planned for November. The MDA website will feature a “Meet a Caregiver” page where profiles of family caregivers will be posted throughout the month. Opportunities to thank the caregivers in your life also will be available, including e-cards, Salute a Caregiver (online testimonials), and Donate in Honor of a Caregiver. Caregiver resources also will be highlighted.
An MDA webinar (Internet seminar) on issues related to caregiving is scheduled for November. Please visit the MDA website, or call your local office for more information.
Nobody likes to get stuck with a needle. But influenza — the flu — is particularly hazardous for those with neuromuscular disease, which is why MDA offers free flu shots as part of its services program.
If your current health coverage doesn’t include seasonal flu vaccines as a preventative health benefit, the first step to receiving your free flu shot from MDA is to request a voucher for redemption at the nearest Walgreens, Duane Reade pharmacy or Take Care Clinic. To request a free flu shot voucher, go to MDA’s Flu Season Resource Center, or call (800) 572-1717.
Of course it’s also important for immediate family members and household contacts of those with neuromuscular disease to receive an influenza vaccine. This is why MDA and Walgreens have expanded their partnership to make flu shots available for immediate family members and in-home caregivers at a reduced rate of $26. To request coupon vouchers that entitle family members and in-home caregivers to this special discounted rate, go to MDA's Flu Season Resource Center.
MDA’s online Flu Season Resource Center includes tips for limiting the spread of germs and preventing infection; tips on what to do if you do come down with the flu; a message from MDA Medical Director Valerie Cwik; resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and a Walgreens Flu Shot and Take Care Clinic Locator tool.
This year marks an important milestone in the relationship between DECA, an organization of high school and collegiate marketing students, and MDA. For 30 years, DECA members have pitched in at MDA fundraising events, served as volunteer counselors at MDA summer camp and appeared on the annual MDA Telethon. The group has raised more than $5 million for MDA programs over the past three decades.
To thank DECA for its outstanding support and encourage the partnership well into the future, MDA National Youth Chairman Luke Christie spoke at DECA’s 65th International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Fla., in April. In his address to more than 15,000 students and advisers, Christie expressed gratitude for the tremendous support MDA has received from DECA chapters over the years.
Christie, who is affected by spinal muscular atrophy, presented awards to the three DECA chapters that raised the most for MDA during the past school year: Grayson County High School in Michigan, Rolla Technical Institute in Missouri, and Waynesville High School in Missouri. In all, DECA raised more than $400,000 for MDA in the past year.
From old to new: In June, Christie also was on the road to address more than 8,000 attendees at the Junior National and Senior National Beta conventions in Nashville, Tenn. Collectively, Beta’s middle school and high school groups raised more than $121,000 for MDA during their first year of support. He encouraged Beta Club members to get involved for the first time or to continue their involvement next year.