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Muscular Dystrophy Association
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is an organization founded in 1950 which combats muscular dystrophy and diseases of the nervous system and muscular system in general by funding research, providing medical and community services, and educating health professionals and the general public.
Additional recommended knowledge
The MDA is most famous for the nationwide telethon it holds on Labor Day each year. Begun in 1966, it is hosted by Jerry Lewis, who has supported the MDA since its inception. Lewis's support has been so ironclad over the years that children assisted by the MDA are referred to as Jerry's Kids. In 2007, the annual Labor Day Telethon raised a record USD$63.7 million. In 2005, the MDA made the unprecedented decision to pledge $1 million of the telethon's money raised to Hurricane Katrina disaster relief, making the donation specifically to the Salvation Army (though the telethon also urged viewers to give to the Red Cross).
The MDA targets the following muscular dystrophy diseases:
It also targets the following:
The MDA's national headquarters are in Tucson, Arizona.
The MDA and Jerry Lewis have been criticized by disability rights activists for their tendency to paint disabled people as "pitiable victims who want and need nothing more than a big charity to take care of or cure them." Critics argue that focusing the public's attention on medical cures to "normalize" disabled people fails to address issues like providing accessible buildings, transportation, employment opportunities and other civil rights for the disabled.
Better Business Bureau and Charity assessment of MDA
According to a Better Business Bureau summary released in February 2004:
Charity Navigator which is the largest independent evaluator of charities, gives MDA only two out of four stars for organizational efficiency and fiscal health. 
External links and sources
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Muscular_Dystrophy_Association". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|