Todd first entered the Complex Rehab Technology industry because of his support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and joined the Numotion team as an ATP seventeen years ago. Todd has a passion for motivating kids and adults with disabilities to persevere and maintain independence. “It feels good to give and help others, professionally and personally,” said Todd, “I am so lucky to work for a company who encourages us to compassionately care for our customers.”
Todd started volunteering for the MDA in high school as a driver for one of the MDA board members named Simmie. “Simmie was a very patient man and taught me a lot. He was never frustrated by inaccessibility and never let it be an obstacle for him” said Todd. Todd drove Simmie to MDA meetings and clinic appointments and during that time he learned how to get creative when encountering inaccessibility. Todd’s passion for helping others encouraged Simmie to recruit Todd to be an MDA summer camp counselor in 1990 and Todd has volunteered at MDA summer camps every year since.
In between summer camps, Todd has been involved in raising money for Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and ALS and over the years has seen advancements in treatments for MD and ALS. “Witnessing firsthand how life has been extended because of these advancements empowers you to want to do more and more,” said Todd “Most of these advancements have occurred because of organizations like the MDA and their uniting of others to pursue a cure for muscular dystrophy and ALS.” This motivated him to attend camp every year and, even one additional camp in Nashville when there was a shortage of counselors. 2019 will be his 31st
Todd said he has learned a lot over the thirty plus years of volunteering at MDA summer camps and has many stories to share but there is one story he shares often, “We had a camper named Tyler who had come to camp every summer and this was the last year he could come. He had a spectator personality and was kind of shy. It was the last night and there was a dance in the lodge across the camp. Right as we got dressed and ready to go a thunderstorm popped up. Tyler said ‘I guess we can’t go to the dance because I don’t know how I am going to get there.’ So I said, ‘Oh we are going’ and broke many rules and went and got my truck and loaded him in the front seat and his chair in the back and drove him across camp to the dance. I told him there was no way I was going to let him miss his last dance. This story is one I share often because it is the spirit I try to teach other camp counselors that whenever you can, offer these kids an opportunity to have a good time and help them to live life without limitations.”
Todd was awarded The Joe Martin Champion of Spirit Award at the 2019 MDA Muscle Team Gala in Charlotte, North Carolina. This annual honor recognizes outstanding individuals in the Charlotte community who make a difference in spreading awareness of neuromuscular diseases and help further MDA’s mission to find treatments and cures. Joe Martin was from Charlotte, and once diagnosed with ALS decided that he would use the diagnosis as a way to make a difference. He helped establish the Carolinas Neuromuscular/ALS Center, the Southeast’s only comprehensive facility for the treatment of Motor Neuron Disease. This is where MDA and ALS Clinics areas are held today.
Todd was nominated by the MDA’s National Director of Distinguished Events, the current Executive Director of the MDA of the Greater Carolinas, and the chairperson of the Muscle Team committee. Previous recipients were Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers, Mike Wallace – NASCAR Driver, Clarence Ray – Former president and CEO of Duke Energy’s Nuclear Division.
“To share the stage with people of this caliber and receive an award of this level shocked me beyond belief. I don’t volunteer or support the MDA for recognition, I’m just a guy that’s empowered by being allowed to help others.”
Todd’s eighteen-year-old daughter is following in his footsteps and is a camp counselor at MDA summer camps. “It has been the coolest thing watching my daughter join this community and develop a passion for motivating children to experience everything they can despite their circumstances. What I’ve learned over the thirty plus years is that in helping others, I’ve been gifted rewards far greater than those that I’ve provided and it is an honor to watch my daughter follow in my footsteps."
Pictured - Numotion ATP Todd and his daughter.