Working to douse a different type ‘fire’

By Nola Sizemore nsizemore@civitasmedia.com

February 7, 2014

Helping to raise funds for research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy, fire departments from across the county recently held a “Fill the Boot” roadblock in Harlan.

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of muscle diseases that weaken the musculoskeletal system and hamper locomotion.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the world’s leading nonprofit health organization sponsoring research seeking the causes of and effective treatments for neuromuscular diseases.

“When we first began this campaign we had 10 or more fire departments participating. At the last few roadblocks we’ve held only about five or six departments have been showing up to help,” said Lynch Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Bill Goode. “I, personally, obligated myself to do this and once a month I’m going to do my best to be there to help this worthy cause.”

Goode said the reason he donates his time to this particular cause is he feels “firemen are trained to put out natural fires,” and he feels this “goes a little deeper with those suffering from muscular dystrophy, because they have a fire in their lives.”

“As firemen, we need to take a little pride in helping put this fire out by standing out in a roadblock for a couple hours once a month to help this organization out,” said Goode. “This is helping kids and adults who suffer from this disease. We just need to reach a little deeper from time to time to help others out.”

Brad Lawson, who’s son, Bradley, an 11-year-old student at Harlan Elementary School, suffers from MD, said this is the second year for the “Fill the Boot” Muscular Dystrophy campaign.

Lawson said last year police departments and fire departments helped him raise $10,531 for the MDA.

“I was number one in the state last year, as far as families, raising money for MDA, and I’m proud of that,” said Lawson. “This year our goal is $20,000. The reason I do this is to help my son and others who suffer from MD. All proceeds from these roadblocks go directly to the MDA for research across the state of Kentucky and a part of Indiana. It cost $75 per minute for MDA research. There is no cure now, but we hope to see a cure in the future.”

Lawson said he would not be able to raise the funds without the help of the fire departments.

“The ones that come out, they love to do it and call me to find out when we have them scheduled,” said Lawson. “We really appreciate what they do.”

Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, or on Twitter @Nola_hde