PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Adam MacDonald, a local man afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, successfully reached his birthday goal of raising $2,500 — and then some, thanks to a local business and many donations — to benefit CureDuchenne.
A fundraiser held last month at the Crow’s Nest restaurant in Presque Isle provided the perfect setting for MacDonald’s fundraising birthday bash.
“About 60 people came to the fundraiser,” said Jan Lucas, event manager for the restaurant, which also donated and received items for a raffle.
“The latest total is about $9,166 raised for his birthday wish,” said MacDonald’s mother, Cheryl Markey. “He surpassed the $2,500 he wanted to raise for CureDuchenne by his 25th birthday.”
Markey gave the breakdown as follows: $3,173 was raised through Facebook Causes Birthday Wish, an anonymous donation of $2,500 was sent directly to CureDuchenne from a local business, and the 25th birthday party-fundraiser at the Crow’s Nest and other donations totaled $3,493.
To date, Markey said, this is the largest sum her son has raised for charity at one time. Over the years, MacDonald has helped collect more than $55,000 from different events.
While the fundraiser is over, donations still may be made for CureDuchenne by mailing them to 17 State St., Presque Isle 04769.
Markey said her son was pleased with how his Oct. 20 birthday turned out.
“Adam, his two grandmothers, Evelyn Morris and Judy Hilton, my husband, Chris, and I enjoyed a very delicious meal. Hats off to the chef who worked many long hours for the birthday fundraiser,” said Markey. “When I asked Adam what he wanted as a gift from me for his birthday, he said, ‘Nothing.’ He said he has every-thing he needs.”
Lucas said she and the Crow’s Nest owner and staff were pleased to be a part of such a worthy cause for such a nice young man.
Markey said what started as a private birthday party for family and friends quickly evolved into the birthday fundraiser. After meeting with Lucas to discuss a private function, Lucas expressed interest in making it much more.
“After Jan told us what she had in mind to help maximize Adam’s donations, we jumped on board. We hit it off with Jan after hearing her talk and learning she was from England. Adam was born in England when his dad was stationed there at RAF Lakenheath. Jan is a very lovely person inside and out,” Markey said.
Markey said thanks also go to those who sent donations by mail.
“He received one the other day from a 5-year-old girl named Maggie who lives in Mars Hill. She sent a birthday card with a message written inside, ‘I saw you on TV. My birthday is Oct. 20 too. I am 5. Maggie M.’ Her parents included a $100 donation,” said Markey. “Adam also received a $1,500 donation from a Camden-area family.”
The Presque Isle Fire Department and their Women’s Auxiliary also supported with donations, according to Markey.
MacDonald now is shifting his fundraising efforts, focusing on a more personal goal.
“Adam has plans for another event, but he had to finish his birthday fundraiser that he started first. His new goal is to raise funds to get to Corpus Christi, Texas, to a clinic that has a new treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy boys,” Markey said.
Markey said this is not a cure but treatments that will help keep MacDonald’s heart and lung muscles strong until the cure is found.
“Insurance will not pay for this new treatment. The cost will be $850 for the initial evaluation-tests by both clinic doctors, $100 each follow-up day (five or six days) and $4,500 for the machine that will come home with him so I can continue to give Adam the treatments,” she said.
MacDonald’s appointment is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2011.
“A close family friend who travels a lot on business is donating his frequent-flier miles to get our plane tickets for us. We will be in Texas for about 12 days, staying in a hotel while there,” Markey said.
Another fundraiser is being planned, in hopes of raising the money needed for MacDonald to seek treatment in Texas.
“The State Road [Advent Christian] Church will host a harvest supper to benefit Adam, to help with medical expenses associated with his muscular dystrophy,” said the Rev. Greg Moody. The supper will take place at the church, located on Route 227 West State Road in Mapleton at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.
The meal will include turkey and all the fixings. There is no charge, but donations will be gratefully accepted.
“The funds raised will be going to assist Adam with treatment-related bills. One of our members lives near Adam and suggested we use our harvest supper to help the family. Church members thought it was a great idea,” said Moody, explaining that for the past several years parishioners have chosen to use the annual harvest supper to help individuals in the church or community.
“Adam is happy that he has been able to educate many more about the disease he has and wishes others would research Duchenne muscular dystrophy, so that they can understand why he has been doing what he has been doing — raising funds for the much-needed research to find a cure,” said Markey.