Tyler 'Fill the Boot' campaign raises nearly $65,000, changes li - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Tyler 'Fill the Boot' campaign raises nearly $65,000, changes lives

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Filling an old boot for a good cause has more than paid off for more than 50 years.

And in Tyler, one woman says she could not be more grateful for the effort.

“They gave me a life expectancy of 7, and I just turned 30 in October,” Sory Rivera says.

Sory Rivera was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy when she was three years old, and her doctors only gave her four more years; at best, to live.

“I wish I could find that doctor, and be like, 'you were wrong,'” Rivera says.

Rivera’s disease is a form of muscular dystrophy; it affects the nervous system and controls voluntary muscle movement. But now, for Rivera, there’s a treatment, thanks to the research funded by the Fill the Boot campaign.

“The firefighters don’t just put out fires, they collect money for such an important cause,” Rivera says.

161 firefighters in the Tyler area took to the pavement this last weekend and collected nearly $65,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“It’s neat for us to affect some change and to have a positive impact from that angle as well, not just when the bells go off and the 911 gets called but also when these kinds of things come around every year.,” Tyler Fire Department Public Information Officer and Fire Marshal Paul Findley says.

$24,000,000 was raised nationwide last year, helping fund research for new treatments, supporting MDA care centers, and sending kids to MDA summer camps.

It is a simple fundraiser, impacting hundreds of thousands of people.

“To be here now, I’m 30 and I’m getting my own chance to start over at life, and to have something to look forward to,” Rivera says.

Sory Rivera started the treatments in her spine in March. Rivera says she has already seen a drastic difference in her muscle movement.

Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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