Twelve-year-old Brock Shriver of Alexandria has launched a local effort to raise money and awareness for muscular dystrophy (MD).
Brock was diagnosed with MD last April and has since been named a Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Ambassador.
He’s sharing his story and “going green” to bring awareness to the MDA’s mission to find a cure.
Brock has partnered with Doug Thompson, owner of the Alexandria Burger Kings, to sell Shamrocks Against Dystrophy – a St. Patrick’s Day themed fundraiser supported nationwide by restaurants, bars, retailers and businesses.
Thompson said the local Burger Kings have participated in Shamrocks Against Dystrophy for about five years.
Thompson said, “I think the MDA is a worthwhile program and we could use any pennies or dollars you can give.”
Burger King customers will be asked if they’re interested in donating money to buy a shamrock and support MDA. Green shamrocks are $1 and gold are $5. The shamrocks will be displayed on the wall at Burger King with the name of the donor. Brock is hoping the whole wall will be covered, showing the support from Alexandria.
“I have to bring them supplies and help raise money,” Brock explained.
His goal is to raise more than $100 and to get there he had the idea to set up a “secret shopper” program. Burger King employees will be rewarded for asking secret shopper customers if they’d like to buy a shamrock.
“There will be two secret shoppers every day, one at each restaurant,” he said.
After a visit to a clinic for a sports-related injury, doctors did further tests and discovered Brock had MD.
It’s a hereditary condition marked by progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles. There is no cure, but medication and therapy can slow the course of the disease.
One in about 5,000 boys is affected by MD.
“I am one of those boys,” Brock noted. “I hope that by bringing awareness to the disease, more research can be done, a cure found and kids like me can continue to do all the things we love to do.”
Brock is a 7th grader and away from school, he said he likes to spend time golfing, cooking and playing hockey and baseball.
He’s also manager of Alexandria’s Pee-Wee A youth hockey team and is able to continue to be around his hockey friends who, he said, have been incredibly supportive.
Brock is the son of Joani Nielson and Andrew Shriver.
Joani said, “I am really proud of Brock. He has this disease and he knows his world is changing. However, he has embraced the opportunity to step up and be an ambassador and teach other kids they can still live a great life and do the things they want even with a disability.”