TUCSON, Ariz. — Kennedy Healy of Omaha, Neb., will be featured on the national broadcast of MDA SHOW of STRENGTH™ this Sunday, Sept. 2.
Kennedy, 17, will have her “story of strength” told on the three-hour, prime-time special set to air on 150 “Love Network” stations across the country. KMTV, CBS Channel 3, will broadcast the show in the Omaha area.
Kennedy is a recent Gretna High School graduate and an incoming freshman at DePaul University in Chicago. She carried a 4.0 grade-point average in high school and was valedictorian of her class. Kennedy has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which causes weakness in the legs, hips, shoulders, arms and respiratory muscles. She uses a power wheelchair for mobility.
“I am a little scared to move away from my family here in Omaha, but I’m mostly really excited about this new chapter,” Kennedy said. “MDA has helped me prepare for my independence and the transition to college.”
Kennedy plans to major in public relations and minor in community services.
“I just hope to help people throughout my life and make a difference,” she said.
Kennedy continues to make a difference daily. Since the age of 10, she’s raised more than $50,000 for MDA through various fundraisers.
“I do have hope that there will be a cure,” she said. “I don’t know if it’ll be in my lifetime, but one thing that keeps us going is the power of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and all the people and sponsors behind it.”
“As proud as we are of the amazing performers who are featured on MDA SHOW of STRENGTH, the true stars are individuals like Kennedy who are dealing with the ongoing challenges of living with neuromuscular diseases,” said MDA Interim President and Medical Director Valerie Cwik, M.D. “I know our national audience will be inspired by the strength Kennedy’s showing in her transition to independence and adulthood. It’s enormously moving and gratifying to know that she credits MDA as an important facilitator in her personal journey.”
‘Stories of Strength’
MDA SHOW of STRENGTH will feature six “stories of strength” told from the individuals’ and families’ perspectives.
In addition to Kennedy Healy, the other profiles are: Veronica Niño, 45, of Friendswood, Texas; Angela Wrigglesworth, 35, of Houston; MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Bryson Foster, 12, of Concord, N.C.; Latondra Chappell, 14, of Charlotte, N.C.; and Justin Moy, 12, of Concord, Mass.
About MDA SHOW of STRENGTH
MDA SHOW of STRENGTH continues MDA’s Labor Day tradition in a three-hour prime-time broadcast special airing Sunday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT. The show will include entertaining performances, celebrity appearances and inspirational “stories of strength” about families affected by muscular dystrophy and related diseases.
Among the celebrities and entertainers scheduled to appear are: Carrie Underwood, Pitbull, will.i.am featuring Eva Simons, Carole King, Paula Abdul, All-American Rejects, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, B.o.B, Brandy, Luke Bryan, Gavin DeGraw, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Tim McGraw, Alanis Morissette, Khloé Kardashian Odom, OneRepublic and more.
In addition to being broadcast on 150 “Love Network” stations across the country, the show will be streamed on mda.org.
For information on the rich history of the telethon, visit mda.org/about/telethon-history.
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.
In addition to funding some 300 research teams worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of 200 medical clinics; facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters fighting progressive muscle diseases.