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Firefighters See Firsthand How 'Fill The Boot' Helps

Firefighters See Firsthand How 'Fill The Boot' Helps

(Stock Photo)

Ocala Star-Banner via YellowBrix

September 04, 2010

Last week, firefighters from Marion County Fire Rescue and the International Association of Firefighters Local 3169 conducted their annual Fill The Boot campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For three days, firefighters from 24 stations manned intersections across the county, offering their boots to be filled with cash and coins from passing motorists.

According to Orlando MDA Executive Director, Brittany Lara, those funds will benefit more than 1,300 Central Florida families, with more than .77 cents of every dollar going to research and services.

Local residents tuned in to the televised MDA Labor Day Telethon can expect, at 1:30 p.m., to see MCFR Firefighter and Paramedic Brent Murray present MDA with a check for $42,982.50.

In his second year as MCFR/IAFF Local 3169 MDA Coordinator, Murray said he volunteered for the position, “To go a little further in helping others and to make a difference by helping out.”

On Wednesday, Murray and his fellow firefighters at Station 20 in Summerfield were treated to tangible proof of the difference they are making. Thirty-five year old Orlando resident and MDA spokeswoman Monique Griffin came to Marion County to meet and express her gratitude to Murray and his firefighter brothers.

Diagnosed with a rare form of MD called Pompe disease, Griffin once might have faced a less hopeful future. Thanks to Lumizyme, a new drug developed with MDA funds and research at the University of Florida, Griffin had a powerful message for the firefighters.

Seated on the motorized mobility scooter she uses to get around, Griffin explained that Lumizyme infusions had stopped the progression of her disease and that she was “breathing better, had more energy, felt stronger and hoped to be out of the chair one day.”