MDA Matters Winter 2012

“Amusement Park,” by Andrew Cameron was the first artwork accepted into the MDA Art Collection in 1992.
by Quest Staff on January 1, 2012 - 12:09pm

QUEST Vol. 19, No. 1

MDA Art Collection turns 20

The year is 1992 …

  • the Washington Redskins win the Super Bowl;
  • the Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series;
  • CBS’s “60 Minutes” is the No. 1 TV show; 
  • Disneyland Paris opens;
  • Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas and Taylor Lautner are born; and
  • the MDA Art Collection is launched!

MDA’s Art Collection was established to focus attention on the achievements of artists with disabilities and to emphasize that physical disability is no barrier to creativity.

Now on permanent display at MDA National Headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., the Collection contains more than 380 original works by adults and children with neuromuscular diseases in MDA’s program. Artists range in age from 2 to 84 and represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Collection is one of the most varied in the nation — a testament to the imagination and talent of its artists. In addition to traditional oils, watercolors, acrylics, pen-and-ink, crayons, pastels, bronze, ceramics and photography, the Collection includes collages made with corn and paint applied with wheelchair wheels and human feet. Subject matter ranges from self-portraits to landscapes, and from still life to outer space fantasies. Check it out online.

The first work accepted into the Collection in 1992 was by Andrew Cameron of Austin, Texas. The 21-inch by 27-inch assemblage of multicolored loops and swirls of construction paper titled "Amusement Park" (pictured above) was created by Andrew at age 8 in an elementary school art class.

Over the past 20 years, Andrew’s work has been included in 12 exhibits around the country, including shows at the Blackhawk Museum, Danville, Calif.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Los Angeles Children’s Museum and The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Okla.

MDA Muscle Shop
TRC Page
Check out the new MDA Muscle Shop and Transitions Resource Center pages.

MDA Muscle Shop now open

Ready to spiff up your wardrobe?

MDA is excited to announce the opening of a new online store that will help you look even sharper when you “Make a Muscle and Make a Difference.”

The MDA Muscle Shop features several versions of MDA “Make a Muscle” and “Hope, Love, MDA” wear, including T-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, pants, yoga wear, hats and mugs — even youth and baby wear! Sales help support MDA’s programs.

You can check it out at

The TRC wants YOU

A common theme among young adults who grew up with a neuromuscular disease is that there were very few adult role models they could look to and say “hey — that person is like me.”

MDA’s new online Transitions Person of the Week feature is aimed at correcting this. Each week, the page will highlight a young adult who grew up with a neuromuscular disease, along with his/her social media tags.

If you’re looking for role models — please visit. And if you think you’d like to serve as a role model to an upcoming generation of young adults — please visit.

The POWer page allows you to share your journey, highlight your accomplishments, talk about the barriers you’ve encountered, and share your goals for the future.

Submit your profile or nominate a friend. Help MDA highlight the amazing power and strength within our community — and show our youth just how bright their future can be!

Other opportunities to get involved with MDA’s Transitions Resource Center (TRC) include:

Guest blogging: Share your opinions, experiences and ideas regarding any and all topics you believe are important to the MDA community. No need to be a seasoned blogger.

Tell us about your phone apps: The TRC wants to highlight phone applications that assist with daily living, such as educational apps, study tools, medical information or navigational resources. Please email information about your helpful phone apps to

Take the TRC survey: The survey, located at, asks questions about education, mobility, employment, accommodations, and personal and technical assistance.

Tell us about your accessible space: Have you come up with creative solutions to accessibility issues for your work space, living space or even dorm room? Send photos and detailed information to TRC’s Accessible Spaces Gallery.

United Airlines Volunteers
Top row, from left: Bill Wright, Jack Copeland, Lori Moniz, Kathy Charron, Joyce Spivey and Janie Rodriguez.
Bottom row: Alex Arechiga, Linda Drury, Kami Burnett and Terri Vakoff.

United Airlines volunteers

United Airlines flight attendants (active and retired), and their friends, have been a presence at the national broadcast of the MDA Telethon for almost 40 years, helping to seat audience members and performing other duties.

Some of those pictured — such as Linda Drury, Bill Wright and Terri Vakoff — have been at it for some 25 years; Joyce Spivey can claim a whopping 38 years!

The crew from the 2011 Telethon is pictured to the right.

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