ABC Stars Unite to Fight Back Against Muscle Disease During MDA Show of Strength Telethon
ABC television stars will join forces this Labor Day weekend on the 49th MDA Show of Strength Telethon airing Sunday, Aug. 31, 9/8c on ABC television stations across the country to help raise funds and awareness to help save and improve the lives of children and adults affected by muscle disease.
Viewers tuning into the 2014 telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association will enjoy heart-felt appeals and introductions from some of the network's leading stars, including Alyssa Milano of the hit drama series "Mistresses," legendary "All My Children" star Susan Lucci, "Nashville" leading man Charles Esten,"Rising Star" co-mentors Brad Paisley, Kesha, Ludacris and show host Josh Groban, as well as Chris Powell of "Extreme Makeover," "Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron and "ABCNews'" Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser.
"As a soon-to-be mother of two, supporting charities that help children in any way is something that is very important to me," said Milano. "I came away with such a meaningful experience after meeting MDA families and learning about their courageous 'stories of strength' battling muscle disease. If my involvement with this year's telethon can help raise funds and awareness for those affected, I'm happy to lend my support to help continue the progress in the fight for muscle health."
Milano, who is due with her second child this fall, took her support for MDA behind-the-scenes at the Hollywood Palladium to meet with children affected by muscle disease, which included an exclusive interview with "blue" carpet correspondent 15-year-old MDA Ambassador Abbey Umali. Umali, of Redlands, Calif., is affected by Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) which causes muscle weakness, lack of coordination and loss of sensation in the upper and lower extremities. Click here to see their interview and learn why Milano supports MDA.
Additionally, MDA's National Goodwill Ambassador Reagan Imhoff, 9, was also invited to a taping of the ABC's new singing competition show "Rising Star" where she was able to work her charm on co-mentors Brad Paisley, Kesha, Ludacris and host Josh Groban. The musical artists met with Reagan backstage to learn about her role as an MDA spokesperson and how she's helping MDA families, like her own, to fight back against muscle disease.
The 2014 MDA telethon will feature a star-studded celebrity lineup with performances from Grammy winners Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, plus Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans. Additional celebrity presenters on the telethon include Jann Carl, Jordin Sparks, Kevin Frazier, Laila Ali, Nancy O'Dell, Pete Wentz, Terry Fator and Victor Ortiz.