On behalf of MGFA, and the guidance of our Medical Advisory Council, we are writing to inform you that we have decided to host our fundraising season VIRTUALLY again this year. Although recent developments with vaccines have spurred hope and anticipation for a return to “normal,” we are still very much in a pandemic and the health and safety of our MG Community is paramount. We cannot host in-person events and be confident that community members would not be at risk. The very nature of walks and fundraising events is to bring large numbers of attendees together and we are still being advised not to do so. Data to date suggests that MG patients appear to have higher risk of severe COVID infections than the general population because treatments can leave them immunocompromised. As an organization, we cannot in good faith put those we serve in any type of harm’s way or risk of their health.
We very much understand that there is a segment of our population and supporters that feel life should get back to pre-pandemic normal, and that we should offer the opportunity to get together in a mass setting if it is for the greater good of raising funds for the organization. Yet, we strongly believe that raising funds can continue but not at the risk of any one person getting sick at an MGFA function. Currently, in the non-profit sector, the vast majority of organizations have pivoted to virtual fundraising seasons for 2021. This very much remains a standard practice.
With this said, we will not be conducting in-person walks for this year but will plan to bring back our mass gatherings in 2022. Let us catch our breath and put health ahead of the desire to get together in person. We will be back in touch with our plans for a Virtual 2021 Coast to Coast MG Walk.
We so very much appreciate your desire, passion, and commitment to support the MGFA. Should you have any questions, please contact Craig Strenger, VP of Development, at Cstrenger@myasthenia.org or call (949) 633-7878.
**Medical Professionals Disclaimer: We must reinforce that researchers still do not have adequate data on the level of protection that the vaccine provides patients that are on immunosuppressive treatments. Most MG patients are using a form, or multiple forms of immunosuppressants. Therefore, we will continue to recommend that MG patients follow the CDC guidance for unvaccinated people (that is, masking, social distancing, hand washing) – particularly when patients are in close proximity to people with an unknown vaccination status.
Continue consulting with your treating neurologist to discuss your individual situation and risks. And also continue encouraging those with whom you live with, or people you socialize with, to get vaccinated to keep you safe. CDC Vaccine statements and updates can be accessed at this webpage.