More than 120 members of the San Angelo Fire Department and Professional Fire Fighters Association Local #886 raised $72,262 during the annual Fill the Boot campaign on April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to help save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease in the San Angelo area. Muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other related life-threatening diseases take away people’s ability to walk, move, smile, talk and even breathe.

“For six decades, fire fighters have fueled MDA's mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases, and this year’s San Angelo Fill the Boot results are a perfect example of the true dedication the San Angelo Fire Department and Professional Fire Fighter Association Local #886 have toward supporting the families we serve,” said Associate Executive Director, Stephanie Brito. “We’re grateful for the support of these inspiring, selfless individuals who provide life-saving help that will fund research, advocate for children and adults affected by muscle disease, and rally our community to fight back.”

Funds raised through the 2015 San Angelo Fill the Boot event build on decades of research progress, helping push science to its limits in the search for treatments and cures.

Dollars raised also help support MDA’s life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and clinics, including the MDA Clinic Lubbock, Texas. They also make MDA summer camp possible so kids with muscle disease can enjoy “the best week of the year” at Ceta Canyon in Happy, Texas, and nearly 80 other locations nationwide.

As the Muscular Dystrophy Association's largest national sponsor, the IAFF fuels MDA's mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases. In addition to Fill the Boot events, contributions from charity baseball games and other local events hosted/sponsored by the IAFF help support MDA's efforts to raise awareness and provide professional and public education about neuromuscular diseases.

IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found, and the organization's unwavering commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day. The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and fire fighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2013, more than 100,000 fire fighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $26.2 million. To date the IAFF has raised $558 million for MDA.

About the IAFF
The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 300,000 professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,200 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.

About MDA
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to saving and improving the lives of anyone with muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research to find treatments and cures; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. Visit mda.org and follow us at facebook.com/MDAnational and @MDAnews.

Thanks to everyone who helped our Firefighters to "Fill the Boot"!