The Muscular Dystrophy Association confirmed that it will close its Bettendorf office on November 16.
MDA attributes the decision to creating a more streamlined organization. It’s part of a national downsizing that will claim three local jobs.
Patients and families will consolidate into MDA’s office in Cedar Rapids.
MDA says that local programs and services will continue as usual.
A charity that helped hundreds of local kids and families for decades, MDA patients like Michele Mattox were trying to cope with the decision on Friday.
“I’m devastated,” she said. “I’m proud of what these people and this local office have done.”
“I think it’s going to hurt,” added another MDA patient, Cheryl Housman.
We first met Housman at the University of Iowa Clinical Outreach Program. Staff from Iowa’s Neuromuscular Clinic see patients twice a year in Davenport.
Housman and Mattox feel caught in the middle and wonder where to turn. They worry about the impact on patients and their families.
“They’re going to have to jump through a few more hoops than they would normally do to get what they want,” Housman said.
MDA says that its local programs and services will continue. That includes the annual Labor Day telethon, which has been a fixture at WQAD for decades.
“I won’t give up on these kids,” Mattox said.
But after years of local fundraising for local programs, participants worry that it just won’t be the same.
“You want something?” Mattox continued. “Oh, I’m going to get in the car and drive to Cedar Rapids. I don’t think it’s going to work.”
MDA says it’s most concerned with impact on patients and families. It will be working to ease the transition over the next month.
Quad Cities patients can call MDA’s office in Bettendorf, (563) 359-5181, or Cedar Rapids, (319) 393-8905.