Contributed. Children at the MDA Summer Camp roast marshmallows by the fire. The camp is held every year to help boost the confidence of those with muscular dystrophy.
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
Kim Minchue may not be working in a physical office anymore, but that’s not going to stop the work she’s doing for Fresno’s chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
In fact, she doesn’t think it will slow her down at all.
According to Minchue, who works for the organization as the development specialist, the decision came in November to shut down the Fresno office’s brick and mortar location near Fresno State to save on overhead. However, she added that she is one of only two people at the local office currently there, and the office is now predominantly functioning as a place for storage and Internet use.
“Really, the only thing getting affected is when somebody needs to pick up something,” Minchue said. “So, instead of coming here, we would probably meet them or deliver it.”
Meanwhile, the MDA in Fresno will continue its mission of fundraising for research, and providing services for the muscular dystrophy community, including those run three times a month through their care centers at Valley Children’s Hospital and UCSF Fresno.
Since 2015, Minchue said that there have been breakthroughs on six different drugs, the most notable of these being Spinraza, a drug used to treat spinal muscular atrophy in severe cases. Doctors and researchers have noticed significant improvement in many patients on the treatment.
Another popular service associated with the association has been the annual MDA Summer Camp. This camp provides MDA patients with a week of activities including wheelchair races, RC cars, Ping-Pong and ziplines, along with a prom night. The camp costs approximately $2,000 for each child and is paid for by the MDA. Individual counselors are also provided. For Fresno participants, this event is held at the Tuolumne Trails camp in Sierra east of Modesto.
“You can imagine a child going through school, going through family activities where they’re the only ones affected by this disease – or has a disability,” Minchue said. “Everything is tailored to them for the whole week and they’re able to grow as a person and come out of their shell.”
Minchue said that they are waiting for their lease to end on the Fresno office before moving equipment to storage and are trying to negotiate an early withdrawal from the contract. It is expected that this will be finalized this year.