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Donations help Cedar Rapids firefighters fill boots for MDA

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    August 27, 2014 | 5:59 pm

    CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Fire Department kicked off its annual “Fill the Boot” fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) on Wednesday. One little boy from Hiawatha met with firefighters beforehand to explain why the fundraiser is so important to him.

    “I’m here to speak to everybody here to encourage them to raise money for MDA and Camp Courageous,” said Quinn Antone Jensen.

    Camp Courageous is a program for kids with disabilities. Quinn has been a camper there for four summers said its given him experiences he never thought he’d have.

    “Zombie survival, train, swimming, arts and crafts, archery, and there’s a whole bunch more,” Quinn said.

    But there’s a deeper reason Quinn looks forward to the camp.

    “At camp they treat you equally,” he said. “Because they know how it feels to not be able to walk or something like that.”

    When he was just one year old, Quinn was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    That means his brain has trouble communicating with a spinal cell that controls muscle movement. The muscles that he can’t move then atrophy.

    Fundraisers like Fill the Boot help send Quinn to camp and cover his medical costs.

    “It kind of brings home why we’re out there, said Paul Bagby of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. “Being able to hear from him directly on the money we raise, how that benefits him as a person, makes a huge difference in why we fundraise.”

    Firefighters will be at intersections throughout Cedar Rapids until Friday, August 29, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. each day.

    Fill the Boot Locations