The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s 2012 National Goodwill Ambassador is Bryson Foster of Concord, N.C., a social and friendly 11-year-old determined to make a difference by sharing his positive attitude and words from his heart.
Bryson and his parents will travel the country throughout the year representing families affected by neuromuscular disease and served by MDA, participating in special events and meetings of national MDA sponsors, and speaking with the media.
Bryson also will be featured in MDA promotional materials and public service announcements used nationwide.
“Bryson’s positive attitude and excellent public speaking skills make an impact on anyone he meets,” MDA Interim President Valerie A. Cwik, M.D., said. “We’re excited to have him and his parents represent the Association this year, helping us spread the word about our commitment to fighting muscle diseases.”
Bryson’s parents are Phil and Claire Foster. His father works for US Foods in Fort Mill, S.C., and his mother works at Piedmont Plastics in Charlotte, N.C.
Bryson has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, one of the nine forms of muscular dystrophy covered in MDA’s program. It’s characterized initially by muscle weakness in the hips, legs, shoulders, and eventually spreads to affect all voluntary muscles. Bryson is ambulatory but uses a motorized wheelchair for long distances.
A fifth-grade honor roll student at Furr Elementary School in Concord, he is a self-proclaimed sports fanatic, has his own weekly sports talk program at his school, often greets his friends with high-fives and loves to read the Bible. When he grows up, Bryson wants to be the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, and a head coach or a sports broadcaster.
Charlotte residents know Bryson from his term as their local MDA Goodwill Ambassador, and he and his family were featured on the local broadcast of the MDA Labor Day Telethon on WAXN-TV 64.
The Fosters already take part in many state and local events for MDA, including Muscle Team, Muscle Walk, Lock-Ups, Shamrocks, mobile kickoffs, Fill the Boot, golf tournaments and social events.
Bryson attends MDA summer camp at Camp Bethelwoods in York, S.C.
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.
The Association’s programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors.