The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy in Red Deer was a heartwarming experience for Doreen Ternowetsky.
The 11th annual event at Mackenzie Trails raised thousands of dollars Saturday – the money goes towards funding critical research and essential medical and mobility devices for people with neuromuscular disorders.
Ternowetsky, from Acme, Alta., has a 35-year-old son with MD. She said participating in the walk to raise money for people like her son was a great feeling.
“It’s just fabulous to be a part of this. It makes me feel so good inside,” she said.
Muscular Dystrophy Canada, which hosts walks across the country, has helped Ternowetsky and her son a great deal, she said.
“They have been so good to us,” she said. “They’ve given us money to put an elevator in our house and to help renovated our bathroom. This is our way of paying back.”
This was Ternowetsky’s first Walk for MD and her son Kyle’s second. Their team for the walk was called “Team Jerkface.”
Mark Perry, Alberta annual events co-ordinator for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, said the event is about bringing the community together.
“It just keep growing year after year and that’s really amazing to see,” Perry said.
“It’s also about spreading awareness and letting people know we exist,” he said. “We’re raising money for a really devastating disease which affects more than 50,000 Canadians. It’s really important we’re out here doing this.”
In addition to the one-kilometre walk, there was facepainting, live music, games and hotdogs cooked by Red Deer firefighters.
Perry said people who suffer from MD can have a tough time getting treatment.
“It’s a very niche field (for doctors). Muscular Dystrophy comprises of more than 150 rare diseases. Individually they can be quite rare so it’s hard for people to get the help they need,” he said.
Nationally, Muscular Dystrophy Canada raises $1.4 million through walk events last year.