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!
Phil was diagnosed with MG in 2010 after he went into crisis and ended up in Mary Washington Hospital. He had symptoms prior to this incident such as slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and fatigue but his GP found no cause for the problem. After spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with feeding tubes and other indignities, it was determined that Phil has Bulbar MG that affects his tongue and throat and his diaphragm loses strength when he is breathing. General muscle strength is not degraded, but stamina is, so when walking around the farm he carries a cane that has a seat attached so he can take rests when necessary. Because heat really saps his energy he has an air conditioner in his tractor to combat hot days while cutting and baling hay on his farm. Despite anything that myasthenia gravis throws his way, he does not let it become debilitating, and he and his family maintain a positive attitude and support the entire time. Hazel his wife is his caregiver and biggest advocate.
Much credit for the positive outcome must go to Dr. Sandra Crouse at Mary Washington Hospital and Dr Ted Burns at UVA. By adhering to their prescribed medications of Mestinon and Cellcept plus IVIg (every 6 weeks) Phil is able to lead an active life including farming, classic cars, and community events. There are days when activity is slow, but the less you do the less you can do, so keep on trucking!
That positive attitude has turned into positive action once he learned of the MG Walk. After his MG diagnosis, Phil and Hazel researched everything about MG including the MGFA web site and came upon the support group that meets in Manassas, VA. Though it is 60 miles away from his home, it is still so important for Phil. It was actually at the support group that he met Tom Larsen, and the two realized that they had served in the Air Force at the same time, at the same base, and even attended the same grad school studying Aerospace Engineering, but never met each other until these many years later. And it was through the support group and Tom (Tom’s Rockets) that Phil and his family became involved with the MG Walk for a World without MG.
As the Virginia MG Walk Hero, Phil hopes to inspire others going through their diagnosis with MG to not let it become a debilitating condition. You may have this “new normal” and have to make some adjustments in your life to accommodate, but just like that cherry tree, you can still live a beautiful and fulfilling life. Keep that positive attitude, turn it into positive action and get involved in helping to raise the funds for research into better treatments, quicker diagnoses, and ultimately, a cure for MG.
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:
Checks should be mailed to: