TUCSON, Ariz. — Joan Palmer of Kensington, Md., will appear live on the national broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6.
Palmer, 60, and her husband Tom also will appear in a videotaped profile on the show. Preview the profile (for media background only) that will accompany Palmer’s 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 running for 21½ hours. In the Kensington area, the show can be seen on WDCW, Channel 50.
Palmer has a form of spinal muscular atrophy, a neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in muscles closest to the center of the body, including those of the shoulders, hips, thighs and upper back. Respiratory muscles also can be involved, and spinal curvature often develops. She uses a power wheelchair for mobility.
Palmer has three grown children and one grandchild. She works at a catholic school bookstore, and loves to read, garden and spend time with her grandchild. She receives care at the MDA clinic in Georgetown.
“We’re delighted to have Joan Palmer on our show,” said Gerald C. Weinberg, MDA president & CEO, and Telethon executive producer. “Her life is filled with challenge, yet she and her family persevere in their hope and confidence that MDA will find a cure for their disease. Her 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 via 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 clinics for area adults and children with muscle-damaging diseases at Children's National Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, both in Washington, D.C.