The film was produced and sponsored by one of the charity’s supporters, award winning meeting and events agency Zibrant.
It provides a compelling insight into the lives of 75 children and young people with the muscle wasting disease Muscular Dystrophy (along with their families) who successfully applied online through a bespoke nomination system.
Muscular Dystrophy affects over 70,000 people in the UK and varies in complexity with no known cure. As part of the charity’s on-going work, this innovative Paralympic related project was in development for over two years and was conceptualized by MHF’s inspirational co-founder and CEO Michael McGrath.
You can watch and share this film below:
Over the 10 days of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the programme provided beneficiaries with lasting memories and played an important part in driving some exciting legacy initiatives. Most recently, the establishment of a team of Powerchair Football players called Muscle Warriors all of whom have the most severe form of muscular dystrophy known as Duchenne or DMD. The disease affects the heart and respiratory muscles in around 1 in 3500 boys resulting in muscle degeneration and eventual death.
Commenting on the film Michael said, “The video highlights what a fantastic 10 days we had at the Paralympic Games, how lives have been changed and how people can get involved to support our work”.
Michael is calling for those who watch and are inspired by the film, or those who want to lend their support to either donate by texting MUSC13 £10.00 to 70070 or by simply clicking the Donate Now With Virgin Money Giving button on the charity’s homepage
About the 'Games Inspired Muscle Dreams' programme
A series of ‘Musclympic’
The overnight stay for all families was just the beginning of an incredible period at the Paralympic Park watching the ‘Superhumans’
This high profile event was featured on BBC News and the Channel 4 Paralympic Breakfast show (twice!) - the first interview with Michael McGrath can be seen on the charity's YouTube Channel at dreammaker657
Feedback from beneficiaries and families was extremely powerful, not least that 89% of families rated their 'Games Inspired Muscle Dream' as ‘excellent’
Project Manager Ros Cramp said, “this charity stands apart from others because of Michael, who through his daily life gives hope to others. One beneficiary aged 21yrs wrote ‘you are such an inspiration with how positive and determined you are, which is something I strive to be in my own life’.
The programme was supported by nearly 50 dedicated and passionate volunteers who were not only enriched by the experience but also many of whom grew as individuals during their marathon 24-hour beneficiary hosting duties.
“The event involved over two years of planning; it was a huge success in every respect. I know that it has left a positive legacy with all of our beneficiaries”
Endorsed by Lord Coe, the programme was granted its Inspire Mark (part of London 2012’s brand family) by LOCOG that recognises innovative and exceptional projects directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme could not have happened without the support of so many volunteers, the charity’s operational team and of course our sponsors.
“Whilst it’s been an exhausting few years, I’m absolutely thrilled that the original vision conceived just after London won the bid has been realised. I wanted to make sure that the charity got involved and played its part. Our beneficiaries from around the country including a cohort from Scotland, Wales and a family from Ireland witnessed something extraordinary and were undoubtedly inspired by the achievements of so many Paralympic athletes; our volunteers willingly gave of themselves in assisting the charity and I know that, for some, engagement with our families has had a very deep and positive impact. As for my core team, they’ve been fantastic. Together, we changed lives!”, concluded Michael.
The charity works hard to avoid language such as ‘grant wishes’, which is very much in keeping with the approach of some other well-known charities. The Muscle Help Foundation delivers Muscle Dreams – we would be grateful if editors would ensure that this term ie. Muscle Dreams is communicated in this manner.
About The Muscle Help Foundation and Muscle Dreams
The Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) was co-founded by Michael McGrath (aka the Chief Muscle Warrior and DreamMaker). Michael is the CEO of the charity which has a simple vision - to fulfil the Muscle Dreams of children and young people in the UK whose lives are afflicted by Muscular Dystrophy. Through a tailored and highly personal approach, the charity delivers transformational experiences that give real joy, inspiration and hope, enabling beneficiaries live a dream or fulfil a cherished ambition. MHF has a unique understanding and empathy towards both the children who receive Muscle Dreams, as well as the wider family unit who draw strength from the personal involvement of Michael McGrath, himself a sufferer and now as a result of the deteriorative nature of his condition, a permanent electric wheelchair user.