We all know that once a year, most municipal fire departments encourage us to 'fill the boot' for MDA. Have you ever wondered what that money does?

As the different fire crews gather at the corner of Cache and Sheridan Road this week, in the rain, collecting what they can to help fund the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Let's dive into a little of what your dollars fund.

The MDA is a volunteer organization in the US that raises money for research of neuromuscular diseases. They grant money out to scientists around the globe to work towards finding cures for so many diseases that effect our fellow humans. And the work those scientists have done in the last 60 years has been remarkable.

The same money you donate has gone to developing treatments for over 40 conditions over the years, but as discoveries are made, more conditions are being researched.

As humans, we overcome adversity. That's what we do. Eons ago, we were cold, so we invented a way to make fire. We needed to move some stuff, so we invented the wheel. We wanted music everywhere, so we invented radio... but human innovation doesn't end with that.

Think about this, at one point in time, diseases were incurable. Smallpox, polio, yellow and typhoid fever, measles, malaria, and tuberculosis just to name a few. Hell, a hundred years ago, scratching yourself on some rusty metal would result in lockjaw, followed by death. It was called tetanus, they have a shot for it now that allows you to do man-things with the rustiest metal you can find worry free.

All of those diseases were once incurable. Nowadays we don't bat an eye because the majority of these conditions are treated in our first year of life through vaccines and inoculations.

Now, imagine a world where muscular degeneration is treated the same way.

Humans can overcome, and it starts with your donation. Make a plan to alter your route to or from work today. Cruise through the intersection at Cache and Sheridan Road now through Wednesday and toss a dollar or two into the boot.

If you'd like to look deeper into what the MDA does, look around at MDA.org