Paula Abdul to Give Special Presentation on MDA Telethon Labor Day Weekend
Two-time Emmy Award winner, Grammy Award winner, and multi-platinum recording artist Paula Abdul will make her second consecutive appearance on the MDA Show of Strength Telethon Labor Day weekend, Sunday, Sept. 1, 9/8c, on ABC television stations across the country.
Abdul, a groundbreaking choreographer, performer, actor and business woman, will introduce MDA families who are sharing their stories of strength during the 48th annual telethon. Abdul will make a particularly special presentation to 8-year-old Reagan Imhoff, who is affected by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), by surprising her with her first pair of ballet pointe shoes following country star Lee Ann Womack's performance of "I Hope You Dance." (See a sneak peak of Reagan's 2013 telethon profile)
"Reagan has always wanted to be a dancer and has talked about dancing pointe ever since she started ballet," said Regan's mother, Jenny Imhoff. "For Joe and me to watch as Paula surprised Reagan with her very own pair of pointe shoes was truly magical, and something we will never forget. She's always wanted a pair 'just like a real ballet dancer,' and that gesture certainly made her feel like one - she wore them the rest of the night!"
Abdul and Reagan's friendship began after meeting at the 2012 MDA telethon. Reagan lived out her dream when she starred in a moving dance performance, done from her power wheelchair; the segment was a highlight of the 2012 MDA telethon.
"Last year, Reagan touched my heart with her ambition to dance and I was instantly inspired to want to do more for those affected by muscle disease," said Abdul. "I know Reagan dreams of becoming a dancer, so I am honored to be part of this special moment that I hope encourages her, and all MDA families who are fighting courageous battles against muscle diseases, to live their dreams no matter what."
This week Abdul helped raise awareness for MDA by taking part in an exclusive "Fighting Muscle Disease" Twitter chat event on Aug. 27, along with ABC's Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, MDA families, and MDA clinic team members and researchers. A full transcript of the chat is available on ABC's website.
In addition Abdul's appearances, the 2013 telethon will feature a star-studded celebrity lineup, including: Ryan Seacrest; Backstreet Boys; country stars Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Lee Ann Womack; Enrique Iglesias; teenage pop sensation Austin Mahone; "Glee" star Matthew Morrison; hip-hop dance crew Jabbawockeez; "American Idol" runner-up Jessica Sanchez; Kenny Loggins with the Blue Sky Riders; American blues rock band Vintage Trouble; and Universal recording artist and star from "The Voice" Chris Mann.