The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon was an annual tradition in my house growing up.
I liked it for several reasons. First, I was allowed to stay up all hours of the night
and secondly I was inspired by the video clips of the families battling muscular dystrophy.
For whatever reason, since becoming parents, Pam a I never really watched much of the telethon. It was about
2:00pm on Labor Day, neighbors and friends had come over earlier that day for a big breakfast. My nine year
old son Trevor was sitting next to me on the couch and I decided to turn on the TV to watch a bit of the
telethon. I asked Trevor to watch it with me so he could understand what MD is all about. He asked a few
questions about why the children can't walk and soon he began to get restless and wanted to watch something
else. I asked him to just wait until they showed a video clip of one of the families fighting MD so he could
hear first-hand what they were going through. Within 10 minutes they played a video clip. Not unlike the
countless dozens I had seen over the past 30 years or so. But this time I listened closely as I heard the
father speak into the camera, "This can't happen to my family, this happens to someone else." Trevor seemed
genuinely moved and he asked his Mom to call in and donate $10 of his allowance to the cause.
It was 2:00pm Tuesday afternoon when I got the call from Pam, almost exactly 24 hours from hearing those words
echoing from a father's mouth, "this can't happen to my family..." that I learned disaster is no respecter of
persons, tragedy had an appointment with me. And then I screamed these words out of my mouth, "No...this
can't happen to my baby."