Lifestyle

Marysville firefighters 'Fill the Boot' for MDA

From left, motorist Zack Bower helped fill the boot of Marysville firefighter Basil Bailey on Grove Street last year for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. - KIRK BOXLEITNER
From left, motorist Zack Bower helped fill the boot of Marysville firefighter Basil Bailey on Grove Street last year for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
— image credit: KIRK BOXLEITNER

MARYSVILLE — Firefighters from the Marysville Fire District Local 3219 will be working the intersection of State Avenue and Grove Street June 4-5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, asking motorists to "Fill the Boot" for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Marysville firefighters have been supporting the MDA with "Fill the Boot" fundraisers for close to a decade. The North Puget Sound Chapter of the MDA serves more than 400 families in Snohomish County, as they battle neuromuscular diseases. The money that Marysville motorists drop into firefighters' boots tends to stay local to their area.

For Joan Beals, an MDA volunteer and Arlington resident, annual MDA events such as the "Fill the Boot" and "Lock-Up" fundraisers represent an opportunity for her to express her gratitude, not only to the MDA itself, for the care they provided for her son, but also to those who have made the MDA's programs possible.

Beals' son, Jason, was a recipient of the MDA's services from 1977, when he was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease, until about six years ago, when he passed away. Even though Jason Beals no longer benefits from their programs, his mother has continued to pitch in for the MDA, because she'll never forget how their staff members maintained a one-on-one relationship with her, and made sure that she was never alone in her efforts to tend to her son's needs, even when they were relatively minor concerns, about how to make him more comfortable.

Joan fondly recalled Jason's experiences at MDA summer camps, where he was able to "just be an everyday kid," with children similar to him.

The MDA is the non-profit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The MDA also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education. The majority of contributions to the MDA come from individual donors. The MDA maintains clinics for area adults and children affected by neuromuscular diseases at the Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center.

For more information on the North Sound Chapter of the MDA, you can call 425-259-4078, or e-mail cmackner@mdausa.org.

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