TUCSON, Ariz. — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today announced that Natalie Morales, national correspondent and co-anchor of the third hour of NBC's “Today,” is the newest member of the MDA Muscle Team, a group of celebrity ambassadors dedicated to building awareness for MDA.
Morales, who also is a national correspondent for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Dateline NBC” and MSNBC, recently co-hosted NBC's “Miss USA Pageant” and frequently appears on NBC's “The Marriage Ref” program with Jerry Seinfeld.
“We're thrilled that Natalie Morales is unveiling her new MDA 'Make A Muscle, Make A Difference' public service announcement this morning on 'Today,' where she'll also interview MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Abbey Umali,” said MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg, adding that “Natalie knows how important our lifesaving mission is, having previously interviewed athletic equipment pioneer Augie Nieto. Augie has remarkably raised more than $23 million for MDA-sponsored ALS research since being diagnosed with the rapidly progressive muscle disease.”
Morales is taping a special appeal for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, along with a video “Make A Muscle, Make A Difference” PSA after this morning’s “Today” broadcast. Her first MDA Muscle Team print PSA is scheduled to appear in this morning's edition of USA Today, and the award-winning journalist undoubtedly will be appearing regularly in broadcast, print and digital MDA PSAs being placed nationwide.
As a proud member of the MDA Muscle Team, Morales joins a diverse and growing group of celebrities including: Alison Sweeney, host of NBC's “The Biggest Loser” and “Days of Our Lives” star; Kurt Warner, former NFL Super Bowl-winning quarterback; actor and professional bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno who popularized “The Incredible Hulk”; Nancy O'Dell, Emmy-winning entertainment personality, author and entrepreneur; WWE Superstar Triple H; Booboo Stewart, star of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” movie; Wynonna Judd, country music recording artist; Ace Young, Grammy-nominated songwriter and star of Broadway; Brandon Barash, star of ABC's “General Hospital”; and Gold Medal Olympians Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci, all of whom are dedicated to building awareness for MDA in 2010 and beyond.
“MDA is the first nonprofit organization to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association, 'for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity,'” noted Morales, an MDA national vice president. “I am pleased to be helping MDA enhance public awareness to fuel worldwide research seeking treatments and cures for muscle disease.”
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatment and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education