MDA Matters Spring 2011

From left to right: Max Adler with Melissa Flores, who has CMT; Nancy O'Dell; and, a technician tunes up a power wheelchair for use in the MDA equipment program.
by Quest Staff on March 31, 2011 - 9:40am

QUEST Vol. 18, No. 2

Featured in this article: "Glee's" Max Adler joins MDA team * Donate to MDA's equipment program * MDA clinic survey * Nancy O'Dell stays busy

'Glee' cast member joins the team

Max Adler, a cast member of the wildly popular musical-comedy-drama TV series “Glee,” is the latest celebrity to join MDA’s Muscle Team. The “Make a Muscle, Make a Difference” campaign features a cadre of muscle-flexing celebrities dedicated to promoting MDA’s missions of help and hope.

Adler’s role as school bully Dave Karofsky has grown from a one-scene, two-line appearance in the show’s first season to a regular presence in year two. Before joining the “Glee” cast, Adler appeared in episodes of “Ghost Whisperer” and “Cold Case” and the 2010 pilot episode of “The Defenders.”

Growing up in Scottsdale, Ariz., Adler, now 25, witnessed both his mother and grandmother struggle with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. “It’s made an incredible impact on my life,” he says, “giving me a knowledge and awareness of muscular dystrophy and MDA.”

Dust off and donate

Is there an old walker in the back of your hall closet that’s no longer being used? How about a wheelchair tucked away under the basement staircase? If, during this year’s spring cleaning, you come across a piece of durable medical equipment that’s no longer needed but still in good condition, consider donating it to MDA’s equipment program.

MDA gratefully accepts donations of gently used medical and assistive equipment that is no longer needed by the original user. In most cases, the Association can repair items with minor defects before providing them to others.

MDA’s equipment program is open to those registered with MDA for whom durable medical equipment has been recommended by an MDA clinic doctor. The program can provide, when available, equipment such as (but not limited to) wheelchairs, shower chairs, hospital beds, patient lifts and communication devices.

By the way, if you’re planning a trip this summer, consider calling ahead to the MDA office at your destination; if the needed item is available, they just might be able to loan you a piece of equipment during your stay!

MDA clinics: Tell us what you think

To ensure that every clinic is a source of help and hope for families affected by neuromuscular disease, MDA is seeking feedback regarding your experiences in your local MDA clinic.

Completing a brief online survey will give you a chance to praise your local clinic team, or offer suggestions on how the clinic program can be improved.

To find the online survey, go to the clinic page on MDA’s website and click on the gold box: “Tell us about your MDA Clinic.”

The survey is an easy-to-use questionnaire that should take only a few minutes to complete. Your participation will help MDA clinics stay at the forefront of research and clinical care. Surveys can be completed anonymously or you can request to be contacted about your MDA clinic experience. If you’re not connected to the Internet, contact your local MDA office to obtain a paper survey.

O’Dell featured on Oprah’s new network

MDA National ALS Ambassador Nancy O’Dell had yet another gig early this year, co-hosting “Your Own Show” every Friday night on the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The reality competition featured 10 widely diverse finalists selected from thousands of auditions, all competing to win, as the title indicates, their own show on OWN.

“I was really surprised by the talent,” O’Dell said. “From all the audition tapes that came in, I was, like, ‘Really? These people are this good with no experience?’”

O’Dell, who is also an MDA national vice president and a regular co-host on the MDA Labor Day Telethon, has another “day job” as a special correspondent to the long-running CBS show “Entertainment Tonight.” She will assume Mary Hart’s co-anchor role when Hart retires at the end of ET’s 2011 season.

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