Affecting as many as 1 in 10,000 people, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an unrestrained killer. Among its many victims, SMA is the leading genetic cause of death for children under the age of two. Although the bulk of people who suffer from SMA are very young, a very specific form of SMA known as Kennedy’s disease affects people between the ages of 15 through 60.
While there is no cure or treatment for SMA, that doesn’t mean affected families of spinal muscular atrophy are without hope. From knowing nothing about SMA, to being closer than ever to conquering it, SMA researchers have come a long way over the past three decades.
That research has come in no small part from the considerable number of charities and other non-profit organizations dedicated to helping those afflicted with SMA, and nearly all of them are in need of volunteers, engaged participants, and the donations they need to continue working. Any individual can make a difference in the fight against SMA if they’re willing to give a few minutes of their time or a few dollars from their pocket.
There are many SMA groups, organizations, and events that could use your time just as much as your financial contributions. With over 300 SMA-related events occurring each year, it should be easy to find a SMA event that you can help support within your local area. From the 2015 Cure SMA Day held in Portland to the 2015 Hope Campaign, there are a huge number of groups around the nation making an effort to improve the lives of those afflicted with SMA.
You can also try getting involved with a variety of fundraising events for SMA. Whether it’s a marathon or a silent auction, there’s bound to be an event where your unique talents can be put to use. Whether you set up your own fundraiser, or get involved with one of the numerous existing events held every year, your time and involvement with SMA-related groups is invaluable.
There are a number of reputable SMA charities that do anything from help families of SMA to pursue research. For example, SMA Angels Charity, Inc. is a non-profit dedicated to finding a cure or treatment, and increase awareness about SMA. Many non-profit SMA groups depend on donations to pursue their work, and in most cases, your charitable donation will be tax-deductible.
Putting SMA charity aside, there are a number of other ways you can get involved. Buying SMA-related merchandise can help get some money into the hands of people who are involved with curing SMA, while also allowing you to raise awareness about the issue. For example, California non-profit Hope for SMA sells a variety of apparel that can help you raise awareness while supporting the cause.
Starting to Participate
Finally, it’s important not to underestimate the value of simply attending and participating with SMA families’ events. Sharing your experiences and providing your support for affected families can make all the difference to those dealing with SMA. Whether you’re helping someone who has a loved on suffering from SMA, or helping to cure it, your contribution is priceless.
While there is no cure today, researchers are continuing to make breakthroughs in understanding and ultimately eliminating spinal muscular atrophy. With the participation of you and your family, you may personally be able to play a role in helping to alleviate the suffering of those living with SMA both now and in the future.