Firefighters shaking out their boots this weekend

Penticton Firefighters are taking part in a valley wide boot drive on Sept. 19 in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Penticton firefighters David Scott (right) and Jay Johnson are urging people come out and help them shake their boots Saturday

Penticton firefighters David Scott (right) and Jay Johnson are urging people come out and help them shake their boots Saturday

Penticton Firefighters are taking part in a valley wide boot drive on Sept. 19  in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“It takes a firefighter 56 muscles to put on a boot; it takes you to help fill it,” said Penticton firefighter Ryan Bazley. “By dropping your extra change into the boot, you are making muscles move in your community. So come out to support your local firefighters in the battle against muscular dystrophy.”

Stop by and drop off your extra change at one of these locations: 9 a.m. to noon  at the Penticton Market at Main Street and Westminster Avenue and 11  a.m. to 2 p.m. at Safeway on Main Street.

Funds raised by the Okanagan Valley firefighters are used to provide support for those living muscular dystrophy — a group of over 150 types of neuromuscular disorders that are characterized by the wasting and progressive weakness of muscles.

Over time, many people with muscular dystrophy are unable to walk, speak or ultimately breathe.

Some diseases are life-threatening and presently, there is no cure. These funds help support research, education, services and equipment.

Bazley previously told the Western News that Penticton firefighters are very much involved with those with MD apart from just the fundraising.

“Absolutely we have a personal connection with them,” he said. “We have about 20 people in Penticton and the surrounding area who have a neuromuscular disorder. We take them birthday cakes, we partake in wheelchair soccer and they also come out and help us raise money for the cause,” he said.

While there may not be a cure yet, researchers are getting closer and the quality and longevity of those suffering from the disorders have improved significantly.

“Because of our fundraising and awareness about 10 years ago the expectant age of a person with muscular dystrophy only lived to about 16 or 17 years old and now they’re living to 30 or 40 years old,” said Bazley. “That shows what we do is making a difference.”