TUCSON, Ariz. — Five-year-old Neel Singh Pannu of Sacramento, Calif., will be featured in an inspiring profile 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 the Sacramento area, the Telethon will be seen on KQCA, Channel 58.
About Neel Singh Pannu
Pannu is affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration. DMD is one of the more than 40 neuromuscular disorders in MDA’s program.
Not one to let muscle weakness slow him down, “Super Neel” (as he calls himself) can be shy at first but quickly becomes an extrovert once he warms up.
His parents, Kulwant and Sukhbir Pannu, are Subway restaurant franchise owners and active MDA volunteers in the Sacramento area. Pannu also has an older sister, Amanbir.
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 Sacramento-area adults and children with muscle diseases at the University of California at Davis Medical Center.