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Chair     Carson Norlen

INL Firefighters’ Team INL project raises funds for Muscular Dystrophy Association
Updated On: Jan 04, 2014

INL firefighters (left to right) Neil Kitzmiller, Brady Undhjem, Garth Lambson and Jeremy Ropp braved cold temperatures on the morning they collected donations from ATR Complex employees. (Carisa Schultz photos)

INL Firefighters’ Team INL project raises funds for Muscular Dystrophy Association

By Carisa Schultz for Laboratory Protection

INL firefighters raised more than $2,300 during this year’s campaign to “Fill the Boot” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). They stood outside entrances at locations all around INL, including MFC, SMC, AMWTP, RWMC, ATR Complex, INTEC and the new ESL building on University Boulevard during all-employee meetings in town.


Frances Marshall (left) gave her donation to a boot held by Christopher Morris, this year’s INL Fill the Boot chairman.

Firefighters from Idaho Falls, the state of Idaho and the nation support the MDA fund drive, which is a prime charitable cause for the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF). INL firefighters are members.

“Considering the challenges created by an interrupted and abbreviated campaign, we were very pleased and fortunate to receive the generous donations from employees,” said Christopher Morris, MDA chairperson for Local I-83. This year’s Fill the Boot campaign was interrupted temporarily and postponed when concerns of a potential curtailment occurred and the campaign got off to a later-than-normal start.

“The MDA campaign is important to me,” Morris said. “Every year, we have the opportunity to attend a firefighters seminar where we actually meet children afflicted with this debilitating disease and we realize first-hand the impacts it has on these kids. It makes it worth our time to volunteer to collect money to help find a cure. We feel lucky to help.”

Since 1950, MDA has funded promising scientific investigations seeking treatments and cures for the muscular dystrophies.

The association makes every effort to support new experimental treatments whenever there is a reasonable scientific basis for doing so. Since the discoveries of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene and its protein (dystrophin), scientists have been working to develop safe and effective methods for inserting a working dystrophin gene into the muscles of boys with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies.

As investigators identify the gene and protein abnormalities that cause other forms of muscular dystrophy, the promise of further genetic therapies is expanding. Under the auspices of MDA's Medical Advisory Committee, association-funded scientists intensively search for nongenetic therapies (for example, corticosteroids) that might slow, stop or reverse the progression of the muscular dystrophies. MDA's research department monitors muscular dystrophy therapeutic trials throughout the world and serves as an information clearing house on these studies.

Ken Minnix helps 'fill the boot' as INL firefighters greeted employees attending the all-employee meetings at the Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) in Idaho Falls.

IAFF Local I-83
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