4-year-old Bakersfield Muscular Dystrophy Ambassador helps raise awareness, excited for telethon
MDA telethon will air tonight on 23ABC from 9-11PM
Last Updated: 102 days ago
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - For over five decades, the Muscular Dystrophy Association has done a telethon to help raise money for families affected by the disease and to help fund research for a cure. Here in Bakersfield, 4 -year-old Rylie Erbacher has been doing her part on spreading awareness within our community.
"She has SMA type II. SMA is spinal muscular atrophy. It is a kind of muscular dystrophy. She was diagnosed officially three days after her second birthday," described her mother Stephanie Erbacher.
Because of this disease, Rylie has low muscle tone in her body which prohibits her from walking. But her parents still make sure she has a regular childhood and interactions with other children.
"I think it's good because other kids should be around be around children with special needs. It makes them more empathetic. A lot of times they will ask questions like why are you in a wheelchair, and she just says I can't walk and most of the time that's good enough for them," said Erbacher.
But these conversations and questions can be tough for Rylie, who says "it makes her want to walk."
To help spread awareness within our community, Rylie was chosen as the Bakersfield ambassador for the MDA.
"People see her and they know her and they know of her story. It makes it more helpful and they are more likely to want to help," said Erbacher.
Although the money raised in tonight's MDA telethon that will be broadcasted across the country, Rylie's family says it "helps fund research, and the research is what is going to get the cure."
Ryan Seacrest will be the host of the telethon, which will air on 23ABC from 9-11PM. Several artists such as Backstreet Boys, Luke Bryan and Enrique Iglesias will be performing at the telethon.
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