No, I am not. My mother died of ALS, one of the diseases that fall under the MDA umbrella. The telethon got to be too depressing and provided an excessive amount of detail about the illnesses. Other groups, such as the Heart Association, do an excellent job in raising funds. Instead of the telethon, we need a campaign about muscular dystrophy, its symptoms, impact on families and the need for more research funds.
I think Jerry Lewis did a fantastic thing when he started the telethon. He showed the seriousness of the illness but kept it light enough for people to want to watch. In recent years, the entertainment potion had declined, and the information part was turning into a guilt trip. A new approach to raising funds and deciding who will get those funds was needed. I watch my mother die over a period of about 18 months. The MDA did not offer any assistance, unless we agreed to use their doctors. There were no MDA doctors where I was living then. We got state and federal assistance, and the phone company help supplies a communication device, could transmit messages over phone lines by typing on a keyboard--which is not easy for a person with ALS, but it did offer a little of communication independence for a short time.