Mayo Clinic defines muscular dystrophy as "a group of diseases that cause profressigve weakness and loss of muscle mass." It's a genetic order, and one that robs the human body of even the most simple tasks that we take for granted: walking, talking, swallowing and breathing.
But the disease can not override the spirit and determination of those affected by it. And it's why since 1950 the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been working to save children and adults alike who suffer from these life-threatening illnesses.
The ultimate goal has been and will remain the same: discovering a cure for all.
The Timber Point Outdoor Centre, located 125 miles south of downtown Chicago, has become a safe haven to some of the local children suffering from muscular dystrophy. For one special week each summer they aren't limited compared to their peers, and they aren't any different. Nearly 75 kids aged 8 to 17 get together to smile, laugh, and play, the simple things in life all children should be afforded.
The unique opportunity to be around other kids affected by this ugly disease makes this the highlight of the year for manyn. From horseback riding to archery, from water-balloon target practice (on counselors) to laser tag, there's something for everyone and more than enough smiles to go around.
There's a counselor for every camper that makes "Christmas in June" the experience of a lifetime.
"Kids come to a camp like this, and this is the biggest deal for their year, the best week of the year the kids say," said Jim Cristman, VP/GM of CITGO, MDA's largest corporate sponsor. "They can't imagine anything like this. So how can we not give them a camp?"
MDA lost its most prominent spokesperson this summer when Jerry Lewis passed away. Lewis headed the The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon for more than five decades.
And since the MDA Summer Camp is free to all families, donations are vital to its continuation. To find out more about the camp, the disease and how you can donate to contribute toward a cure, check out their website.
You can also follow MDA on Twitter, at @MDANews and @MDAChicago_NIL.