Onward Christian soldiers

Published 5:01 am Monday, March 7, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Members of the newly formed Atmore Christian Prayer Warriors (ACPW) have a lot of battles ahead of them.
The Christian-based club, founded earlier this year by Atmore resident Matt Baisden, is searching for ways to not only help raise awareness, but also money to assist in its ministry to area youths and its mission to help fight muscular dystrophy.
"We were founded Jan. 11, we have presently 18 local members," Baisden said. "This is a community Christian organization that is non-denominational and it's for all ages. We are in need of funding and we need to get membership going."
The Warriors are currently seeking monetary donations or usage of a facility so that they can have a suitable place to hold their meetings.
"ACPW is asking local churches for funding and help with buildings for our meetings, we are meeting twice a month," Baisden said.
The group is also accepting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"ACPW is donating money to the MDA and we will send it straight to Jerry Lewis, Chairman of the MDA," Baisden said. "We are holding this fundraiser for MDA probably until September when they have the MDA telethon. We are holding it for people in the local community."
In particular Baisden is referring to two members of the Atmore community. One is fellow club member, Rob Griffin, who has a form of MD known as Duchenne. Another member of the community, Glen Maholovich, a member of Atmore First Assembly of God, has the type known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease.
"I have one of the 40 known muscular diseases that (MDA) is looking to find a cure for," Griffin said. "Duchenne affects the muscles; ALS affects the spine and nerves."
According to Griffin, there are other major differences in the way the two diseases attack the body.
"The type I have is progressive, that one you just wake up one day and you're messed up, it catches up to you," Griffin said. "The other one advances quickly. They're close to finding a cure for mine."
According to Griffin it took over 20 years for muscular dystrophy to put him in a wheelchair, but said ALS could do that to someone in a matter of days.
Griffin has been working to raise awareness of the disease and has even competed in the William's Station Day 5k run.
"It was the first time a wheelchair ever contended and I finished in 77 minutes," Griffin said.
Griffin is one of 10 officials in the 18-member club. The club appeared before the Atmore City Council meeting last week to try to get help from the city.

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