I’m going to tell you a story.
Angelina was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 2 when she was 9 months old. The little girl, who lives with mom Erin and dad Frank in Liverpool, never sat up independently. She never crawled. She never walked. She’ll have to rely on a power wheelchair to get around.
“When she was diagnosed, we were told it would be unlikely that we would see her second birthday,” Erin said.
But Angelina proved everyone wrong.
“She is now a spunky 2-and-a-half-year-old who is thriving,” Erin said. “With all the things we have been told she couldn’t or wouldn’t do, SMA has never stopped her from having the determination to do things she sees other kids her age doing.”
And as Angelina grows up, she’s got a better and better chance of finding treatment as more and more research is completed in the field.
Do you know what funds that research?
Your donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association are funding new research opportunities every day. And you helped me to provide some backing for those researchers with your donations for my “bail” for the MDA’s 2014 Syracuse Lock-Up.
According to the MDA, more than 1,000 families in Central New York, like Angelina’s, live with neuromuscular disease. That includes not only muscular dystrophy and SMA, but also amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is more colloquially known as Lou Gherig’s disease.
Thanks to donations from you, as well as my family and co-workers, I raised more than $500 to help those families — to help Angelina. In total, the event raised a record-breaking $121,000, with more than $30,000 raised the day of the event, June 12.
And we’re not done. The fundraiser will continue for another 45 days, so if you wanted to donate but forgot or didn’t get a chance, you can still do so. Just go to mda.org and click on the “Find a Jailbird” link at the top of the page. You can then type in my name, which will take you to my fundraising page. You can also donate directly to the MDA at 6315 Fly Road, Suite 102, East Syracuse, NY, 13057. Credit card donations are also accepted over the phone at 451-8269.
Thanks for helping me help the MDA — and thanks for helping people like Angelina.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.