Valdosta community arrested for a good cause -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta community arrested for a good cause

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email  
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Valdosta community and business leaders were arrested Thursday and charged with having a big heart.

The muscular dystrophophy association hosted it's ALS Awareness Lock up Thursday.

ALS or Lou Gherhig's disease paralizes the muscles.

It's national ALS month, and to bring awareness to this disease and other forms of muscular dystrophy, jail birds in Valdosta were locked up for a good cause.

Their bail was set for $3,200.

This money will go towards research, leg brace and wheelchair repairs and clinics.

"Well, I could be doing better but I'm in jail,"

Chances are if your number is in Joan Kierce's cell phone, you got a phone call Thursday to help her raise bail money. She's one of the 52 who were on lock down today at the Hilton Garden Inn.

"Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease that children as young as infants to men and women can be diagnosed," said Brittany Lara, MDA Executive Director.

Community leaders were fingerprinted and handcuffed, put behind bars and photographed. Fifty three families in Lowndes County are affected by the disease.

"It's a big part of my life," said Valdosta Fire Lt. Dereck Willis.

Willis' 8-year-old son Ian has mitochondrial myopathy.

"He's a special little boy that wants to help out other kids even though he has this condition and that's amazing in itself," said Willis.

Willis says Ian plays baseball and will continue playing as long as he can.

They raised $71,000 surpassing their goal of $60,000.

This money will also help send kids like Ian to summer camp with kids who have similar muscle diseases.

More than 1,200 families around Northeast Florida and South Georgia are affected by muscular dystrophy and benefit from the services the Muscular Dystrophy Associations provides.

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