We the undersigned ask that President Barack Obama nominate and award The Presidential Medal Of Freedom to Jerry Lewis.
Jerry Lewis has dedicated his life to not only entertaining millions of Americans but also to the work of The Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Starting in 1950 and up to this day, Jerry Lewis has worked non-stop to raise money and awareness of the needs in the fight against neuromuscular diseases. His Labor Day telethon has raised in excess of $2 billion for research and patient care.
That research this money has funded has led to discoveries which have launched new avenues of gene therapy, drug treatment and protein therapy. Jerry Lewis' efforts have created a nationwide network of clinics that offer care, help and hope for Muscular Dystrophy patients and their families.
The work of Jerry Lewis and MDA has also advanced medical science and knowledge that has influenced other areas of research in addition to MDA's focus.
As new discoveries that will lead to cures are made, the quality of life of Muscular Dystrophy patients has also been improved. Where a child with Muscular Dystrophy would once not be expected to survive their teen years, now they are creating successful and productive lives.
Jerry Lewis' work as a performer has inspired the careers of many who followed him in the entertainment world. He has taught film making at top colleges. His invention of the live assist device became standard equipment in the film industry. His pioneering work on television with his partner Dean Martin added greatly to the growth and popularity of what was then a new medium.
We too often wait until someone who has made a difference is gone before we honor and pay tribute to them. Our desire is to award Jerry Lewis the honor he deserves for the meaningful and long lasting contributions he has given to our country and citizens.