NEW YORK, April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has selected Keisha Greaves from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to represent families living with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular diseases alongside current National Ambassador eleven-year-old Ethan LyBrand of Decatur, Alabama.
"I have been involved with MDA because muscular dystrophy is now a part of me," said Keisha. "I feel like it is my job to bring awareness about this progressive muscle disease, what it means to live with it, and the daily struggles that go along with it. I want others to know that many of us live just like everyone else, but we may need certain accommodations. I'm honored and excited to be selected as MDA's 2021 National Ambassador."
"We are honored to welcome Keisha Greaves as our newest MDA National Ambassador and are grateful to have her share her incredible story of strength," said MDA president and CEO, Donald S. Wood, PhD. "Keisha is a dedicated advocate who has represented MDA with distinction as Massachusetts State Ambassador and as a champion of fundraising for research and advanced patient care for the neuromuscular disease community. MDA Ambassadors play an integral role in furthering MDA's mission of transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. To Keisha and all our ambassadors, I can't say thank you enough for everything you do."
As National Ambassadors, Keisha and Ethan will share our important mission with the public as well as our partners, sponsors, and supporters via national and social media and—when possible—live events. Their work aims to deepen MDA's reach among its audiences, educate and champion improved services for individuals and their families living with disabilities and neuromuscular disease by motivating millions to help MDA through donations or volunteer action.
About Keisha Greaves
Keisha Greaves is 35 years old and has been active in the MDA community since being diagnosed with limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) in 2010. Reaching out to MDA was Keisha's first step toward accepting her diagnosis and seeking the support of people who understood her situation. Since then, Keisha has continued to support the MDA, serving on committees, and raising funds for a variety of events including Fill the Boot with our fire fighter partners, Muscle Walks, MDA's annual Black-N-Blue Ball and Toast to Life benefits, as well as helping to increase awareness about muscular dystrophy through her social media platform and presentations.
Keisha is the CEO and founder of Girls Chronically Rock, a clothing brand created to help inspire and empowers others within the disability community. She expresses her feelings and relates her journey through her brand.
About Ethan LyBrand
Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Ethan and his family from attending live events and meeting MDA families, partners, and sponsors in person, he didn't let it slow him down. Ethan shared his story of living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy with numerous audiences virtually through videos, media campaigns, and more. He quickly made a name for himself through his "Joke A Day for MDA" campaign to increase awareness, raise funds and bring joy to people throughout the pandemic. Ethan gained national acclaim when he was named one of Newsweek's "Heroes of the Pandemic." Ethan's MDA campaign also increased awareness of the neuromuscular disease community, which is among the highest risk populations for COVID-19.
"My first year as ambassador has been amazing," said Ethan. "I have enjoyed being in this role as it has given me the opportunity to share my story and raise awareness for MDA. MDA is like a second family to me so being able to support MDA in this role has been incredible. Making people smile through this year has made my heart happy!"
For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA's MOVR is the first and only data hub that aggregates clinical, genetic, and patient-reported data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate drug development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best in class care at more than 150 of the nation's top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational opportunities for families and healthcare providers by providing conferences, events, and materials. MDA Advocacy supports equal access for our community, and each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA continues to produce virtual events and programming to support our community when in-person events and activities are not possible. MDA's COVID-19 guidelines and virtual events are posted at mda.org/COVID19. For more information, visit mda.org.
SOURCE Muscular Dystrophy Association