The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s MDA Team Momentum gives you the opportunity to dedicate your participation in an endurance race – a marathon or half-marathon – to the fight against muscle disease.
Whether you’re a first-time runner or an endurance pro, MDA Team Momentum will provide you with the ultimate race experience, with benefits that include membership in the best nationwide endurance program dedicated to supporting the fight for muscle health, world-class customized Half or Full Marathon training for all levels and abilities, and a community of support from teammates, volunteers, coaches and mentors. Members receive invitations to exclusive social events, exclusive MDA Team Momentum training and racing gear, and race-weekend VIP amenities, such as access to an MDA Team Momentum tent, gear check, and private changing areas. Importantly, participants have the opportunity to honor or remember a loved one affected by muscle disease.
Helpful resources, tips and suggestions, along with easy-to-use online tools and a personalized fundraising Web page make fundraising easy, fun and successful.
MDA will guide you through your race experience. With MDA Team Momentum, you’ll map your course, finish your race and achieve your own personal victory. It’ll change your life; even better, it’ll change the lives of millions of Americans affected by muscle disease.
Personal satisfaction is guaranteed, and every mile you log will move us toward a world in which muscle health, not muscle disease, prevails.
Every step you take and every mile you log advances MDA's mission to assist families with health care services and day-to-day support, fund research breakthroughs worldwide, and fight back against dozens of life-threatening muscle diseases.
This is a very hopeful time in the race to find treatments and cures. With support from MDA Team Momentum members:
Join MDA Team Momentum and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s endurance event program.
Chari Schwartz chose to run her first marathon for MDA in the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
After I finished the half marathon in Chicago 6 years ago, one of the first questions people asked me was, “Will you run a marathon now?” My response was “NO WAY!! I’m done!” But deep down inside, I knew that I was not fully satisfied.
When I started running back in the 90s, I had set a goal that I would run a marathon one day. Each year I kept putting it off, not feeling ready. So when a friend asked me this year if I would consider doing it with her, I jumped at the chance, not only to finally reach my goal of running 26.2 miles, but also to use this event as an opportunity to raise money for muscular dystrophy, a condition that has impacted my family for the last 20 years.
My mom was about 50 years old when she started feeling symptoms. It began when she was a schoolteacher, and after sitting on the floor with her pre-school students, she found that she had a hard time getting up from a sitting position on her own. Her symptoms slowly progressed to include weakness in her hips and legs, trouble with balance, and pain. She would have moments where one of her legs would just “give out” from under her, and had many scary falls, with the black and blue marks to show for them. We are all very lucky that those falls didn’t lead to something more serious. Over the course of 15 years, she took test after test, saw specialist after specialist, and was misdiagnosed several times. Finally about five years ago, she took a genetic test to find that she indeed had type 2 Myotonic muscular dystrophy.
My mom is a true fighter and an inspiration to me. While she has lost most of her independence and can no longer walk unassisted, she continues to persevere no matter the challenge – crawling up stairs on her hands and knees, using her arm and back muscles to lift herself up off the couch, refusing help unless she absolutely needs it. Though she may be silently suffering, tired, or in pain, she still can’t wait to make dinner for my family and entertain us when we visit her in Florida, or to take me shopping to her favorite stores, or play with my kids any chance she gets.
I am running for MDA in honor and in celebration of my mom, and I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family members supporting me in this journey. During my long training runs, I am truly motivated by the idea that the money I am raising can help MDA fund research for a treatment and cure and provide needed services for my mom and others with neuromuscular diseases.