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Houston Teen to be Featured on National MDA Show of Strength Telethon Labor Day Weekend

UnknownKasey Bennett, 13, of Houston will be featured on the 49th annual national broadcast of the MDA Show of Strength Telethon on Labor Day weekend, Sunday, Aug. 31, 9/8c, on ABC television stations across the country.

Kasey, along with his parents Brandy and Raymond will share their “story of strength” in a videotaped profile during the two-hour broadcast of the MDA telethon that will air on KTRK, ABC Channel 13, for residents in the Houston area. See a sneak peak of Kasey’s profile here http://youtu.be/_AJFOwqqNdI.

Kasey was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) http://www.mda.org/disease/duchenne-muscular-dystrophy/overview, a degenerative muscle disease characterized initially by muscle weakness in the hips, legs and shoulders. It involves progressive degeneration of voluntary and cardiac muscles; weakened cardiac and respiratory muscles severely limit life span. Kasey and his family benefit from MDA services including summer camp, a multi-disciplinary clinic, a support group, and loaned medical equipment.

When he’s not enjoying outdoor activities with friends and family, Kasey loves serving as a local MDA Goodwill Ambassador and participating in motivational and disability awareness efforts in their community. While Duchenne has stolen Kasey’s ability to play football, he hopes to one day become a football coach.

“The Bennett family reached out to MDA for help and we are thankful that they have graciously agreed to tell their compelling story.” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “MDA’s mission continues to seek urgent lifesaving and life-enhancing programs for all who are affected by a muscle disease.”

The Bennett family is one of five MDA families who will tell their stories of survival and hope during the 2014 broadcast. This year’s telethon will deliver one-of-a-kind show performances, powerful “stories of strength” and moving calls-to-action to help families affected by muscle diseases.

MDA maintains clinics for area children and adults with neuromuscular diseases at the MDA Neuromuscular Clinic at Methodist Neurological Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital, both located in Houston.

About MDA Show of Strength Telethon

MDA’s first Labor Day weekend telethon was broadcast in 1966 on a single New York station and has become the most successful fundraising event in the history of television. The show, with its iconic host Jerry Lewis and with help from a legion of top celebrities and entertainers, has raised millions each year to provide life-enhancing support and services for the families MDA serves. The real stars on the broadcast have always been the MDA families who have graciously agreed to open their homes and hearts to America and tell their stories of strength. This year is the 49th annual Labor Day weekend MDA telethon.

In addition to funds contributed by the public, substantial support also comes from MDA’s family of national sponsors, whose work throughout the year on behalf of MDA will be recognized on the telethon. Among the sponsors: International Association of Fire Fighters, CITGO Petroleum Corp., Lowe’s, Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Jiffy Lube International, National Association of Letter Carriers, The Safeway Foundation, 7-Eleven, Dr Pepper Snapple Group/7UP, Acosta and Burger King.

At the community level, MDA is planning telethon premiere parties with hundreds of local groups to rally support for the more than 1 million Americans it helps with lifesaving support and services.

Funds raised by MDA telethons also have contributed to the organization’s worldwide research program. Today, through current clinical trials, there is growing excitement that new lifesaving treatments and discoveries are on the horizon for many of the disorders MDA is dedicated to defeating, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

About MDA

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to saving and improving the lives of anyone with muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research to find treatments and cures; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. Visit mda.org and follow us at facebook.com/MDAnational and @MDAnews. Learn more about MDA’s mission by watching this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWOTeyMteV0

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