By Robin March, NEWS 9

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -- A local Shawnee woman is giving back to Muscular Dystrophy Association because they gave her hope and strength after her diagnosis.

Many little girls hear the call of the gym. It can be the beginning of ability, a revelation of talent and a boost of confidence.

But for Amy Jenkins, gymnastics revealed something else.

"I got really frustrated trying to do things. You know in gymnastics I could do everything...And it was just frustrating. Why can't I do the balance beam? Everyone else can, and why doesn't this work for me?" Jenkins wondered.

That's when Amy received her diagnosis.

"I was about 6 ½, 7-years-old. I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy," Amy said. "When you find out you are kind of relieved. It's like ‘OK, there is a reason. I am not just a klutz.' But it's scary at the same time. You don't know what is going to happen or where it's going to go or how much it's is going to progress over the years."

Now, 21 years later the progression of the disease has meant changes, a back surgery, a full leg brace, weakened knees and Amy uses a cane to walk.

It has also given her a family, the MDA family. It started with hope that she was not alone, support during tough times and fun times at camp.

"Then in college, I had the opportunity to work with the MDA group and volunteer for a summer and I got to know the group and more about the group and got involved with the telethon," Amy said.

"I am the master the correct title. I run the master tally of the cash and card pledges as well as the fund raiser money. I run that total and then I change that total on the board," said Amy.

Amy's hopes are that this is the last year she will have to run the tote tally, believing that the breakthrough that is so close will be her new reality.

"I really believe they are going to find a cure. I can't tell you when or where it's going to happen or what form to find it for first," Amy said. "They are absolutely dedicated beyond belief to find that cure and God will, if you have that many people working for the good of so many people, how can it not come true at some point?"

The MDA telethon starts Sunday, September 6 on NEWS 9 with our own Robin Marsh, Doug Warner and Darren Brown emceeing the event.