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BRANDON, FL, – More than 550 convenience stores across Florida will be raising funds to help transform the lives of children and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases during the 39th annual MDA Shamrocks program to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
From February 1st to March 31st, these convenience stores are adding an iconic paper Shamrock (pinup) to their purchase at check out for just a $1, $5 or a larger contribution. APEC joins thousands of other retail locations throughout the country in this year’s program — the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day-themed fundraiser.
The MDA Shamrocks will be displayed on ceilings and walls in stores across Florida and every community, visually declaring steadfast support to fund research and care for children and adults living with neuromuscular diseases that severely weaken muscle strength and mobility.
“Every Shamrock sold is a symbol of how we are making our move to transform the lives of children and adults with neuromuscular diseases, especially now that we’re seeing the impact of MDA’s investment in research resulting in treatments,” said Brand Manager John Knightly. “Thanks to the generosity of APEC’s employees and customers, we can help MDA fund the world’s best scientific and clinical researchers to find lifesaving treatment, care and support programs. Just in the past two years, APEC and its customers have raised more than $120,000 during the MDA Shamrock Campaign to help MDA provide the families it serves with critical resources and support to fulfill life goals.”
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The MDA Shamrocks program benefits the organization’s shared mission to fund groundbreaking research across diseases and provide families with the highest quality care from the best doctors in the country, including best in class multidisciplinary care at the MDA Care Center at the University of Miami in Miami, FL, Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, FL, St. Anthony’s Neurology Group in St. Petersburg, FL, Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, FL, Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, FL, University of Florida Pediatric Care Center in Gainesville, FL, and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Funds raised also make MDA Virtual Summer Camp possible for children across Florida. This summer program provides the opportunity for children to learn vital life skills, make life-long friendships and experience independence, at no cost to their families.
In just the past five years, MDA’s funding of research has led in part to major medical and scientific advancements including the development of 11 new drugs that are now available treatment options, and the promise of more to come. These advancements make this an unprecedented time in the history of neuromuscular disease research and care — made possible in part by the funds raised and support given over the years to the MDA Shamrocks program.
About the Muscular Dystrophy Association
For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA’s MOVR is the first and only data hub that aggregates clinical, genetic, and patient-reported data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate drug development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best-in-class care at more than 150 of the nation’s top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational conferences, events, and materials for families and healthcare providers. MDA Advocacy supports equal access for our community, and each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA continues to produce virtual events and programming to support our community when in-person events and activities are not possible. MDA’s COVID-19 guidelines and virtual events are posted at mda.org/COVID19. For more information, visit mda.org.