Anyone who goes to MDA Camp knows that you want all the years you could want there. Please go to www.anthonysabilities.com/mdacamp and sign the petition so we can let 18-21 year olds back into camp. Every signature helps!

MDA Camp is what many of us with Muscular Dystrophy look forward to every year. It is a place to hang out for one week during the summer where the disease is forgotten and where incredible memories happen. To some, this camp is the one thing they look forward to all year long because they have the time of their lives there. Sadly, the cut off age to go to MDA camp has changed from 21 to 18 and this is the reason for this email.

MDA Camp changes lives every day, for the campers and counselors involved. MDA Camp is not the same without this age group and many lives will be changed drastically in a bad way because of this new cut off. We only have one life to live so why live it without MDA Camp. Muscular Dystrophy gets more progressive as we get older, and MDA Camp lets us forget this. These kids need this week of camp; life for these campers is harder than other peoples', so why make it even harder?

Many people want the cut off age to be changed back for various reasons. Not many people agree with this cut off age change, but it was still made. I do not know who is to blame for this change, and I am not blaming anyone. The change was just made without anyone's ideas or thoughts being involved. Many lives have been changed because of this cut off age change. MDA Camp is what many children with Muscular Dystrophy look forward to all year long. Now people ages 18-21 cannot go to camp anymore and have less to look forward to during the year. I will be 16 next year at camp and will only have 2 years left of camp instead of 5 or more. This makes me sad to believe that MDA Camp will be over sooner than I ever expected it to be. This feeling is going through the hearts of many children and adults with Muscular Dystrophy, the hearts that work hard every day to survive.

I hope that you can help change this. I need all of the help I can get. I have a petition online at www.anthonysabilities.com/mdacamp with signatures of many people that disagree with the MDA Camp cut off change. This list is getting larger every day with more people and more reasons why the cut off age should be changed back. The people that have signed have one hope inside; for the cut off age to change and MDA Camp to go back to the way it used to be. This website shows that people with Muscular Dystrophy are just like everyone else; they want to get what they rightly deserve: a long time at camp.

MDA Camp has been a great experience for me and everyone else involved. Although the camp is only for a short time (5 and a half days-wish it was longer), many memorable events occur in that time. At camp, there is so much to do; such as arts and crafts, swimming, and being together with people that do not judge you and understand what you have. No one is ever judged at this camp. No one is ever looked at by their disabilities, but everyone is looked at by their abilities. MDA Camp is the one time during the year that people with Muscular Dystrophy can live life to the fullest with no boundaries, and no limits.

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I attached this to an e-mail and sent it out to about 100 campers/counselors from our area. I am also going to an mda support group meeting tomorrow. Dr. Jerry Mendell will be there talking about his research so there should be a good turn out, I will also pass this along there as well.

Janine
Hey,
I just went to the petition and I was happy to see some names I recognized from the central Ohio MDA camp. How long do you plan on getting signatures and what is your next step?

Janine
Janine,
Anthony was contacted by MDA in AZ-Jodi Wolff after she saw his petition to talk to him about why the age change was made. I’m not sure if he should copy her email on here; but she did say the change in camper eligibility will not be reversed and MDA’s Board of Directors and Sponsors understand why the change in age was made and they support the efforts to create the safest program possible for youngsters for many years to come.

Anthony also contacted the American Camp Association-NJ and they said the age limit is based on the organization and can be any age.

No matter what, Anthony is very determined to get the age change back to 21 but I’m afraid it may be losing battle. MDA is too big to mess with. We have a lot of contacts that may be able to help Anthony, but I don’t know how far to take this. Any suggestions?
Beverly (Anthony’s mom)

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