NEW YORK, Aug 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) will appoint Dr. Alan Petronk from University of Washington Medical Faculty, Mike Bush, legendary anchor of NBC’s KSDK-TV 5 On Your Side, and MDA Muscle Walk team ‘The Flying Pigs’ made up of the Hawn and Bliss Holler families. The prizes are part of the 35e Annual ‘Show of Strength’ hosted by Bush on Sunday September 4broadcast in prime time on KSDK-TV live from Grants Farm in St. Louis, Missourifrom 8-10 hours CT.
Throughout MDA’s more than 70-year history, local volunteers and communities have remained at the heart of the organization’s mission to empower the people it serves to live longer and more independent lives. The MDA Tribute Award honors the legacy and life’s work of those who have been tireless in their efforts to support patients and families in the neuromuscular disease community. NBC’s KSDK-TV ‘Show of Strength’ Continues to Raise Money to Support MDAs Summer campcare centers, research, advocacy and support services.
• MDA Tribute Awardee dr. Alan PetronkMDA & ALS Care Center Co-Director at University of Washington School of Medicine has been helping MDA families treat adults and children for muscle and nerve disorders for more than 50 years. The work of Dr. Pestronk has led to advances in neuromuscular disease and hope for families. He has trained more than 100 neuromuscular fellows to continue making breakthroughs. dr. Pestonk served on MDA’s medical advisory committee.
• MDA Tribute Awardee Mike Bush – MDA honors Bush, legendary presenter and host of KSDK’s MDA ‘Show of Strength’ fundraiser. Bush has been steadfastly committed to MDA families for 35 years, helping raise critical funds to advance research, care, and advocacy for people with neuromuscular diseases.
• MDA Tribute Awardee Muscle Walk Team ‘The Flying Pigs’ a unique team of two families who were neighbors, Jennifer and Chris Hawnand Emily Bliss and Doug Holler and their three children. Together, their family ties to neuromuscular diseases led them to form a team to raise critical awareness and funds for research and care for families. Their struggle of love, loss and hope fuels their mission to make the impossible possible – as in ‘when pigs fly’. They see a flying pig as a symbol of hope and faith, believing that when we work together, nothing is impossible.
“This award reflects my longstanding, deeply rewarding relationship with MDA. MDA supported my own neuromuscular fellowship training and my first research grant at Johns Hopkins In the seventies. Over the past 30+ years, MDA has supported our multidisciplinary adult and pediatric MDA clinics on: University of Washington in St. Louis. Our neuromuscular group has collaborated with MDA to develop understanding, treatments and improvements in the quality of life of patients with myasthenia gravis, hereditary myopathies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neuromuscular disorders,” said Dr. Pestronk.
“I have been involved with MDA for over 30 years and these children and adults are my heroes. They face challenges every day with kindness and grace, and it is the great honor of my life to do all I can to help said Bush.
“MDA Tribute Tours celebrated Strength in Unity, Strength in Community in Las Vegas, Nashville, Houston and now St. Louis. We can’t wait to come together in a show of strength, gratitude and admiration for these extraordinary individuals who have been tireless in their efforts to St. Louis families and communities we serve,” said Kristine WelkerMDA’s chief of staff.
MDA Tribute Tour – St. Louis
• Working day weekend: International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), fire and EMS professionals from St. Louis Local 73 and Professional Fire Fighters from Eastern Missouri Local 2665 will fill the boat in and around the St. Louis metro area during Labor Day Weekend. St. Louis Fire Fighters Local 73 will also fill the boot ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals games September 2 to 590 minutes before game time at Ballpark Village.
• Saturday September 3 Bee 5:40 p.m. CT: MDA ceremonial first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game and check presentation with an MDA family and Dr. Donald S. WoodPresident & CEO, MDA.
• Sunday September 4 from 8-10 hours CT: NBC’s 5 On Your Side KSDK-TV ‘Show of Strength’ two-hour primetime television special live from Grant’s Farm for the 35e birthday of Mike Bush’s hosting this time-honored Labor Day weekend fundraiser. Anne Allred and Rene Knott will co-host. Donations can be made at MDA.org/ShowOfStrength. The show can be watched live on KSDK, ksdk.com, KSDK’s YouTube channel, and through the 5+ app available for free on Roku and Fire TV. The show features stories from the neuromuscular disease community, including MDA Tribute Awards honoring families at the heart of the mission, medical teams from MDA’s pediatric, adult, and ALS Care Centers, including on University of Washington School of Medicine, volunteers and partners.
“Hope for a longer, more independent life is now becoming a reality for thousands of patients with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular diseases. And the pipeline of promises – more life-enhancing treatments and cures – is growing and creating more and more hope for the millions of patients and their families at the center in MDA’s mission and vision. We are excited to bring the MDA community together in St. Louis — including our families, medical teams from our Care Center Network, our IAFF partners and the Cardinals — to kick off Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month in September. This is an important time of year for important milestone events, longstanding traditions with valued partners and innovative programming, including community education, involvement with the MDA Tribute Tour and advocacy,” said Donald S. WoodPhD, CEO, MDA.
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases. For more than 70 years, MDA has been at the forefront of accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA’s mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer and more independent lives. Visit for more information mda.org and follow MDA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTokand LinkedIn.
SOURCE Muscular Dystrophy Association