It's the story of a little princess, named Gwendolyn, that has a disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
This semester, I have to write a paper for my education class. I'm writing my paper on SMA. Since a majority of people have never heard of this disease, I'm hoping to spread awareness so that we can get a cure for all the people like Gwendolyn.
Here's some quick facts:
- SMA is the leading genetic killer of children under the age of 2.
- 1 in 6000 children are born with it. It may take months to be diagnosed. The most severe type normally results in death in the first 2 years.
- The gene that causes SMA has been found. But, there have been no widespread development of a treatment and cure for the disease. Some doctors say that we are only a few years from finding the cure.
- 1 in 40 people are a carrier for SMA.
- It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscles to atrophy. In the more severe cases, this affects the respiratory system.
- Patients with SMA tend to be "intellectually precocious" and as verbal as possible. Many people with SMA can lead very successful lives-if they can survive long enough. They are not "mentally disabled" and their minds are completely present.
The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation was one of the winners of the Chase Community Giving Celebration on Facebook! Even if you're like my mom, and you "don't read sick children blogs", I encourage you to go to http://www.gwendolynstrong.com/ and read about this incredible family and how they are working to overcome this disease.