TUCSON, Ariz. – Eight-year-old Zachary Walters of Imperial, Mo., will appear live on the national broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon over Labor Day weekend Sept. 5-6.
Zachary, his younger sister, Hannah, and their parents, Jason and Tamara, also will appear in a videotaped profile on the show. Preview profile (for media background only) that will accompany live appearance.
The national broadcast of the Telethon originates from the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, beginning at 6 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 5 and lasting for 21½ hours. In the Imperial area, the show can be seen on KSDK, Channel 5.
Zachary has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which causes generalized weakness and muscle wasting first affecting the muscles of the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders, and later, all voluntary muscles. He has difficulty walking. Zachary is a third-grader who loves art, reading, science and music, and he’s very knowledgeable about geography and tracks his travels on a world map he has in his room. He attends MDA clinic and summer camp, and is very active with MDA fundraisers. For 2010, he also is the MDA Goodwill Ambassador for Missouri.
“We’re delighted to have Zachary and his family on our show,” said Gerald C. Weinberg, MDA president & CEO, and Telethon executive producer. “Their lives are filled with challenge, yet they persevere in their hope and confidence that MDA will find a cure for Zachary’s disease. Their story will inspire Telethon viewers.”
In 2009, viewer pledges and donations to the Telethon surpassed $60 million. MDA is the first nonprofit to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association, “for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity.”
The 2010 show will be broadcast to nearly 40 million viewers in the United States and Canada on more than 170 television stations in MDA’s "Love Network." Millions more worldwide will be able to see the Telethon live on the Internet via the RealNetworks streaming video feed at www.mda.org.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
MDA maintains a clinic for area adults and children with muscle-damaging diseases at the Washington University School of Medicine Center for Advanced Medicine in St. Louis.