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MD camps: Families just being families

At Family Camp Weekends hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center, “you’ll see families just being families,” says Joline Dalton, M.S., C.G.C., a U genetics counselor who helped start the wildly popular camp five years ago.

“The Family Camp is a wonderful way to meet other families going through the same struggles,” Dalton explains. “It’s a place where you don’t have to worry if your child can participate, because everything is geared toward MD.”

Camps catering to families affected by neuromuscular diseases are rare—and much appreciated by families living with MD. More than 150 people attended last year’s camp, where activities include everything from swimming and canoeing to campfires and mini golf. And now the program, supported by philanthropy, has expanded to offer a Transition Camp designed especially for young adults with MD.

“Happily, patients with MD are now living to adulthood,” says Dalton, “but they face special challenges—learning to navigate college, getting jobs, finding apartments … Transition Camp deals with these kinds of issues.”

Dalton emphasizes that donations help ensure that no family is turned away from the camps for financial reasons.

“Families are so hungry for these kinds of programs,” says Dalton, “where kids with MD can enjoy activities they normally don’t get to experience, to just be kids.”

Your gift of $600 sponsors one family’s camp experience. Give today at

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