It was a great day of awareness, fundraising for important resources for those living with MG, and such great support in the MG Community. Keep the momentum going! All fundraising pages will remain open through December, so there is still time to reach all of our goals. Reach out to your family, friends, and coworkers and tell them all about your great experience at the walk (be sure to show them all the photos!), and encourage them to support you. Follow up and thank all those that did donate, and please contact the MG Walk Office for any tips on post-event fundraising.
Thank you all for an amazing day, a great event, and for coming together and doing all we can to reach the ultimate finish line…a world without myasthenia gravis!
Tom Anderson experienced his first symptoms of MG when he started to get double vision back in April of 2013. In order to figure out what was going on, he found his way to Dr. Kostina- O’Neil, a neuro-ophthalmologist at Yale. After completing a few blood tests, she diagnosed him with ocular MG. Dr. Kostina-O’Neil referred Tom to Dr. Nowak, a neurologist at Yale, who put Tom on a mestinon and prednisone regime. About a year later, in March of 2014, he experienced a generalized MG crisis. He couldn’t lift his arms or comb his hair, and ended up in the hospital for 4 days on an IVIG treatment. Under Dr. Nowak’s care, he was put on Imuran, and now, almost three years later, he is feeling really great on just this one medication.
Many people going through diagnosis have never heard of MG before, but Tom’s daughter had a friend whose mother was also diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. Her mother was not properly treated while vacationing in Florida and did not survive an MG crisis. Tom’s family realized this could happen to him, so they made sure Tom was receiving the best care and that his family learned all they could about MG. While in the hospital for his crisis in 2014, Dr. Nowak introduced Tom and his family to the MGFA and the MG Walk. It was this year that Tom and his family and friends participated in the Connecticut MG Walk for the first time, which was also the first year for the Connecticut MG Walk. It is important for him to be involved, especially to raise money for new treatments and medications for MG. When he was first put on Imuran, the medicine that is actively keeping his symptoms calm, he learned it was originally for kidney transplants. Research showed it could be used to treat MG and other autoimmune diseases. That’s why it is so important to raise funds for this type of research that can lead to even more treatments. He also wants to bring more awareness so others know how serious MG can be, but also let others know there are many success stories out there.
As the Connecticut MG Walk Hero, he wants to inspire those going through their own diagnosis to educate themselves. Visit the MGFA site and learn about the medications and procedures that can affect your disease. Tom always brings a printout of medications that adversely affect MG from the MGFA site to his doctors and dentists who appreciate the information. Talk with others, work with your doctors, learn all that you can, and, most importantly, never give up.
Tom is excited to be joined by his whole family, including 7 grandchildren, at this year’s MG Walk, and looks forward to meeting even more people in the MG Community, learning their stories and ways we can all work together to move our mission forward.
Dr. Richard Nowak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine. He is also the Director of both the Program for Clinical and Translational Neuromuscular Research (CTNR) and the Yale Myasthenia Gravis Clinic, one of the largest in the US.
Dr. Nowak received his bachelor of science degree from Loyola University of Chicago and his master of science degree from Northwestern University. He received his medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2007 and then completed both a residency in neurology and a fellowship in neuromuscular medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Dr. Nowak brings the perspective of an independent investigator focused on clinical trials, clinical trial design, and development/application of targeted therapies. Through understanding basic mechanisms of disease, his goal is to apply a biomarker discovery strategy in the development of future patient-tailored treatment approaches. He is primarily charged with successfully building a nationally and internationally recognized translational neuromuscular immunology program at Yale.
Thank you to WTNH Channel 8 for highlighting the advancements in MG at Yale New Haven and for promoting the MG Walk on June 11! Check out the interviews with Walk participant Ed Czaczkes and our Connecticut MG Walk Medical Chair, Dr. Richard Nowak!
Not sure where to begin? Check out our fundraising tools to help you raise MG awareness and increase your fundraising!
On MG Walk Day, we gather to celebrate those we love who live with MG, commemorate the research we’ve helped to develop with funds raised!
Share your fundraising page and links to donate via email and on your social media accounts. If you have checks or cash funds to turn in, please let us know and we can help you add them to your fundraising page. Checks may be mailed to the address below. Please be sure you’ve written your team name in the memo field!
MG Walk Office
1707 N. Randall Rd, Suite 200
Elgin, IL 60123
If you have questions or want to know more, contact us today: