(Good Morning Arizona) -- Summer camp looked a little different for Matt and Jake Rovenstine this year.

"We've been going to camp for three years now, and we did virtual camp this year, and it was a lot of fun," said Matt. "We did a virtual escape room and crafts, and we got to play games with other campers."

"My favorite part was the crafts," said his brother, Jake.

The Rovenstines were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy four years ago. Their father was diagnosed at the same time.

"It was kind of a surprise," said Becky, the boys' mom. "And MDA, we got connected almsot immediately, and they just came kind of swooping in to carry us through the hard times."

Becky says she's amazed at how the Muscular Dystrophy Association was able to pivot because of the coronavirus pandemic, especially with summer camp.

"I was not really sure what was going to happen with summer camp, being that we couldn't do it in person," she said. "And man, they really stepped up their game. I think the boys had just as an amazing experience with it being virtual as it was in person!"

MDA Toast to Life

Now the MDA is pivoting again and going virtual with one of its biggest fundraisers. The upcoming Toast to Life gala is now open to everybody because it's online.

"The great thing about it is instead of touching 300 to 400 people within those walls at the resort at your traditional gala, we get to touch everybody nationally now," said Marc Rivas, one of the event organizers. "We can expose so many more people to our mission and what we're trying to accomplish. And it gives us more opportunity for donations that are much-needed, especially right now."

Rivas helped plan the gala, including a silent and live auction for things like a trip to Costa Rica, restaurant gift cards, and a Peleton bike.

"The world didn't stop because of COVID. It just didn't," Rivas said. "MDA has done a fantastic job of continuing its mission and the crusade for all these cures. And these families are counting on us."

The Rovenstines can confirm that. "MDA is kind of the glue that brings us all together, and they just support us in every way possible," Becky said. "Not just with research and equipment and physical needs, but really on a social, emotional level."

Matt says MDA has changed his life. "It has definitely raised my confidence, and I feel more comfortable with being who I am," he said.

Support the Rovenstines and the MDA by tuning in for the Toast to Life virtual gala on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 4:30 p.m. Click here for details

 

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