Out and a boot: Firefighters Daren DeJesus

Out and a boot: Firefighters Daren DeJesus

Giving muscular dystrophy the boot

Pair of campaigns aim to help make life easier for people with neuromuscular disorders

A month-long fundraising and awareness building campaign with Muscular Dystrophy Canada in partnership with Canada Safeway is helping improve the lives of people with neuromuscular disorders.

All proceeds raised throughout August will support research and the Safeway Mobility Grant program, which provides specialized equipment for families across western Canada.

Langley resident Graham Koshman, 16, has Severe Becker muscular dystrophy, a condition characterized by progressive muscle weakness of the legs and pelvis.

Koshman was a grant recipient and the funding helped his family afford home renovations needed to help Koshman live independently.

“Graham now has greater independence and access to every level of our home . . . he is able to go where he wants whenever he wants,” said his father Dan Koshman.

The partnership between Muscular Dystrophy Canada and Safeway is in its sixth year and has raised a total of $5,594,276 in Western Canada.

More than 50,000 Canadians are affected by neuromuscular disorders and since 2008, more than $2.7 million has been given out in 498 grants.

“Our strong partnership continues to move us forward, to strive to do better, to one day, in our lifetime, attaining our vision of finding a cure for muscular dystrophy,” said Catherine Sherrard, CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Last year more than $1 million was raised through in store fundraising events and the Safeway Walk for Muscular Dystrophy, an annual event.

But the battle’s not over yet. On Sept. 20 and 21, firefighters from all seven Township of Langley fire halls will be out in the community, boots in hand, to collect donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada.

They’ll be at grocery stores, pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, and at the Langley Events Centre, to encourage the public to help improve quality of life for those living with neuromuscular disorders.