Basic Information About MDA
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a voluntary health agency working to defeat neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.
MDA is the largest nongovernmental sponsor of neuromuscular disease research.
Over one million Americans are affected by neuromuscular diseases. About 250,000 have some form of MD.
Included in the neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA are nine forms of muscular dystrophy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), myasthenia gravis, spinal muscular atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and others.
MDA is the first nonprofit agency to be recognized by the American Medical Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award for "significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity."
MDA was founded in 1950 (as MDAA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association of America); the first president was Paul Cohen; the goal was to raise $20,000 a year to fund research; the first grant was awarded in May 1950 to Dr. Ade Milhorat.
MDA is funded almost entirely by individual, private voluntary contributions. MDA seeks no funds from United Way or fees from those it serves.
MDA dedicates 75 cents of every dollar it spends directly to program services.
You may view our Annual Report online for more information.
MDA sends more than 4,300 kids with neuromuscular diseases to MDA summer camps each year, at cost to MDA of $525 per camper; there’s no charge to the families.
More than 75,000 visits are made each year to MDA’s 230 hospital-affiliated clinics and 30 MDA/ALS centers.
MDA awards research grants to some 400 teams of scientists and physicians worldwide.
The Association also:
· helps buy and repair hundreds of wheelchairs, pairs of leg braces and augmentative communication devices.
· facilitates meetings of more than 230 MDA support groups.
· gives thousands of free flu vaccines to those affected by neuromuscular diseases.
· conducts an ongoing public education program through its Web sites, publications, videos, seminars and media placements.