Reporter: Shannon Samson
Web Producer: Amber Griswold
The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon helps many individuals, and Newswatch met one patient who is thankful for your help.
Pat Mascal has a form of MD that causes patients to slowly lose normal use of their extremities as their nerves degenerate. It can be a painful, debilitating condition, but only if you let it be, according to Pat.
There's no place 53-year-old Pat Mascal would rather be than in Hamilton County, Illinois.
Pat explained, "It's beautiful and it's quiet and there's always something to do."
Pat has a disease that's named after the doctors who discovered it, Charcot-Marie-Tooth. The disease causes nerve damage, which causes muscle weakness and wasting.
Pat explained, "It started to affect my hands and shoulders and stuff, and that's when I really started to worry about things."
He admits he was a little angry for a while. He credits his wife Lori for researching the disease and finding out what to expect. He credits the Muscular Dystrophy Association for what he calls a wonderful clinic, run by Doctor Ray Nicholson.
"He's one of those rare doctors who doesn't tell you how you feel, he asks you and he's helped me deal with a lot of things."
Maybe Pat can't use the chain saw for very long to get rid of the storm damage, but he can get in and out of the house using the ramps and zip around the farm. CMT is usually not life-threatening and almost never affects the brain. It may have changed his life, but it will probably not end it.
Pat commented, "It's kind of like riding in a car, as things slow down you see better. Things are slowing down and you see a lot of things."
Pat says MDA and the telethon give patients two things: hope and mobility. And he's got both.
The telethon starts at eight Sunday night, September 5th.
For more information on Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, click here.