Finding Passion Through Volunteering with Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation
Hello everyone, I’m Matt Griffin, a board member with the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation (MDFF), committee chair for strategy, and assistance requests. I’m 30 years old, and I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy approximately 25 years ago. I was in 1st grade at the time.
I’m a somewhat introverted person who doesn’t usually seek opportunities or push myself too hard to be involved with new organizations. I love volunteering and improving my community, but I am not a fan of talking to people I don’t know. I became involved as a patient with the MDFF sometime in elementary school. They had a fantastic holiday party, and it was a chance for me to see friends I hadn’t seen for a long time in the Muscular Dystrophy community.
I was involved with MDFF for years and years, but, eventually, I lost touch with the organization. A few years ago, MDFF hired a new Executive Director. She had reached out to me and wanted to meet to write a blog post about me. We had a fantastic meeting. She told me about this new MD Expo they were planning on starting. The Expo would be used to educate those affected with Muscular Dystrophy about the resources in this world and better educate them on how to navigate life’s challenges. It would also be a chance for everyone to get together outside of the Holiday Party to socialize.
I was very excited about the prospect of an Expo to educate and provide new resources to people. I work with technology professionally. I’ve attended many conferences and expos; they are invaluable to further your knowledge and network. I was asked to be a panelist on their College and Independent Living panel during the MD Expo. After all, I’m working professionally, own my own small business, and have my own home.
The panel was a great success, and so was the entire Expo. I remember teenagers coming up to me in disbelief. They were under the impression that due to their disability, they wouldn’t be able to live independently, go to college, or work.
The next year I was asked to join the Board of Directors for MDFF. I had a lot of reservations for this, simply because my schedule was already stretched pretty thin. I worked a full-time job, had my own small business, was on the Alumni Board for my school, and the Home Owners Association Board. After some serious reflection on how passionate I was about educating teenagers affected with Muscular Dystrophy of their potential, I knew I had to make room for this opportunity. I resigned from my Home Owners Association Board and joined the MDFF Board.
I rapidly dove headfirst into making sure this organization continues to grow. I started with strategic plans for us to improve. I joined the Expo Committee and eventually became a founding member of our Assistance Request Committee and started leading it.
Ultimately, I’ve found that even though I had no real professional experience in this field, I can provide real-life changes and improvements to people’s lives. I can also help inspire the next generation of people affected by Muscular Dystrophy to change the world.
My challenge to anyone reading this, introverted like me or not: find a cause that you are inspired by, excited about, or already know you have the passion for. Reach out to that organization and see how you can get involved.
Meet Matt Griffin
Matt serves as a board member and coordinates the strategic vision of MDFF. Professionally, he works as a Systems Architect and owns his own small business. Matt first learned about MDFF as a child, while staying at Riley Children’s Hospital. After being inspired by the impact this organization had on his family as a client, he became a board member. He believes it is his mission to help out families the way that MDFF helped his. When Matt isn’t working, he enjoys playing Wheelchair Lacrosse. He strives to be an active member in the adaptive sports community and advance his professional career.