Firefighters fighting for a cure

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Staff Writer

Pike County firefighters are fighting more than fires.

They’re fighting the debilitating disease of muscular dystrophy.

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On Sept. 1, those involved with the Pike County Firefighters Association will be at several area grocery stores asking shopper to "Catch the Spirit ­ Fill the Boot" during the annual Muscular Dystrophy Boot Drive conducted by firefighters across the nation.

"This is our fifth year with the boot drive," said Johnny Gibson, president of the Pike County Firefighters Association.

Over the past few years, volunteers from the nine fire departments have collected $8,000.

"Citizens have been really good about supporting us," Gibson said. "We’re doing this for Jerry’s Kids."

During the Pike County Firefighters Association meeting Tuesday night, firefighters voted to work toward having an extra day to collect money for the MDA.

Muscular dystrophy is characterized by the gradual deterioration of skeletal muscle. The progressive disease, which is hereditary, causes weakness and loss of muscle function, resulting in most patients being forced to use wheelchairs for mobility.

Money raised for the MDA goes to research, clinic visits, assists with costs of wheelchairs or leg braces and helps send children to MDA Summer Camp.

Pike County firefighters will participate in the MDA telethon, commonly known as the "Jerry Lewis telethon," being broadcast Sept. 2-3 on WAKA Channel 8 in Montgomery.