By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Portales residents were able to raise $6,946 from the Portales Lock-up for Muscular Dystrophy Association event at Cattle Baron on Thursday.
Theresa Isham, program coordinator for the MDA office in Amarillo, said the money goes to clients from Roosevelt County who are suffering from muscular dystrophy. Isham said the MDA office in Amarillo serves the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle area and six New Mexico counties — Roosevelt, Curry, De Baca, Guadalupe, Union and Quay.
“Business and community leaders help their area by raising money to help people in Roosevelt County who have the disease,” Isham said. “It’s nice to know that the community has those type of people.”
Isham said community leaders, such as Jesse Mowrer, Portales Fire Department chief, participated in the Portales Lock-up in which people donated money to get people out of “jail” or keep them in while they were at the Cattle Baron restaurant.
Isham said organizers raised approximately the same amount of money last year from the Portales Lock-up. She said after residents are diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy, there are 43 different types of muscular dystrophy diseases, they can register with the MDA USA Web site to get help from the nearest MDA office to them.
Portales residents were able to listen to testimony from one of their neighbors who is suffering from a form of muscular dystrophy, facioscapulohumeral (FSH). Angelica Flynn-Del Rio of Portales told participants about the disease she has and how it has effected her health.
“I think the people of Portales are great and very nice,” Flynn-Del Rio said. “Some people were surprised I had the disease. You wouldn’t be able to tell unless you saw me picking something up.”
Flynn-Del Rio said she was diagnosed with the disease in 1994 but said her health has worsened over the last year. Flynn-Del Rio, who is a clinical counselor for Team Builders in Clovis, said she can’t raise her arms above her head and her legs have become weaker. She said she will be seeing a neurologist and a chiropractor in the next few months.
“The big thing is that working at Team Builders, when people come through with chronic illness, it’s taught me sympathy,” Flynn-Del Rio said. “I understand what they’re going through.”
Isham said the patients who are diagnosed can go to the nearest clinic to their home town for care. Isham said those network clinics are located in Lubbock, Amarillo and Albuquerque.
“The doctors at the clinics can provide the clients what they need,” Isham said. “The money raised from each community fundraiser goes back to the communities to help their clients.”
Isham said MDA coordinators also held a Clovis Lock-up to raise money at the Sundance Restaurant in Clovis on St. Patrick’s Day.
Isham said the Cattle Baron corporation has sponsored the event for more than four years.