TUCSON, Ariz. — MDA National Youth Chairman Luke Christie of Due West, S.C., will host the youth segments on the newly formatted national broadcast of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon.
For the first time ever, the 46th annual MDA Labor Day Telethon will be shown entirely in prime time on a single evening, Sunday, Sept. 4. Broadcast from the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, it will air from 6 p.m. to midnight in every time zone.
In South Carolina, the Telethon can be seen on WOLO, Channel 25, out of Columbia, and on WLOS, Channel 13, out of Asheville, N.C.
About Luke Christie
The engaging and charismatic Christie, 18, is currently serving his third term as MDA’s National Youth Chairman. He is affected by type 2 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness and can compromise breathing. He uses a power chair for mobility. SMA is one of the more than 40 neuromuscular disorders in MDA’s program.
As National Youth Chairman, Christie travels the country speaking with MDA’s youth sponsors which include The National Beta Club, Kappa Alpha and DECA, which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary of supporting MDA.
This spring, Christie graduated valedictorian from Dixie High School in Due West and received the Boy Scouts’ highest honor, the Eagle Scout award. While in high school, Christie was president of South Carolina’s Future Business Leaders of America, was active in The National Beta Club, and served as arts and entertainment editor for his school newspaper. He currently is a freshman at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and plans to pursue a career in communications.
Christie has been a tireless advocate for MDA’s programs and services since he was a child. He served as National Goodwill Ambassador in 2006 and 2007, and was the MDA Harley-Davidson Goodwill Ambassador in 2008. He also has appeared on the Telethon several times with his family to speak about why the Association’s services and research are so important to people facing devastating neuromuscular diseases like SMA.
About the MDA Labor Day Telethon
An outstanding lineup of top stars is set to appear on the Telethon this year, including Celine Dion, Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Lopez, Darius Rucker and Jordin Sparks. In addition to the entertainment, the Telethon also will feature profiles of individuals and families affected by neuromuscular diseases, important and groundbreaking research updates, and presentations by MDA’s national sponsors.
Co-hosting the six-hour broadcast will be Nigel Lythgoe (“American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”), Nancy O’Dell (“Entertainment Tonight”), Alison Sweeney (“The Biggest Loser” and author of The Mommy Diet) and television producer Jann Carl.
Approximately 150 "Love Network” stations will carry the Telethon from coast to coast, and it will be seen around the world via live streaming at mda.org.
This year’s Telethon will feature special behind-the-scenes segments from the show on the Association’s website mda.org, and social sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. “Telethon Extras” will provide visitors with insight on living with a neuromuscular disease, information on current research, and interviews with celebrities, sponsors and MDA families from backstage during the Telethon.
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 clinics for area adults and children with muscle diseases at Greenville Hospital System University Medical Group in Greenville, S.C., and Spartanburg Neurological Services in Spartanburg, S.C.
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