Before I go too much further, here's a little bit of information on SMA.
- It is the #1 genetic killer of young children.
- 1 in every 40 people, or nearly 10 million Americans, UNKNOWINGLY carries the gene responsible for SMA. Few have any known family history.
- There is currently no treatment and no cure, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected SMA as the disease closest to treatment of more than 600 neurological disorders.
- Researchers estimate that a viable treatment and/or cure is attainable in as little as 5 years – IF provided adequate resources.
Another precious SMA baby, Gwendolyn Strong, is not so fortunate. Diagnosed with Type I SMA, she faces challenges in almost every aspect of her life. However, like Zeke, she is lucky in that she has parents who will stop at nothing to improve her quality of life and help find the cure for this cruel disease. What Bill and Victoria Strong have accomplished in terms of awareness, legislative impact and fund raising is quite incredible, and a true testament to the power of one Strong voice.
Today's SMA Blog Party is just one of their many efforts to raise SMA's profile. Obviously, my blog usually focuses on all the wonderful ways Uppercase Living products can be used to decorate your home, but today shows that it's about more than selling UL products. Zeke's mom, who is one of my best friends, was also one of my first customers (and continues to be a great supporter). She saw that a little vinyl can go a long way and that our products can also help raise public awareness. She rides around with the a simple but powerful expression on her minivan (modified for Zeke's power wheelchair of course) and donated two of these expressions to be auctioned at a recent SMA conference.
I've posted here about various causes, such as Breast Cancer, but none is as close to my heart as finding a cure for SMA. That's why one of the first things I did when designing this blog was to add a the Unite for a Cure button on the side bar. For every SMA awareness decal purchased from me, I will donate $1 directly to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. If you'd like to order one, you can design it directly on my website or contact me for help. Here are some other things you can do to help:
- Visit the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Facebook page. Victoria will post about various fund raisers and opportunities to vote to get funding for crucial research. Lots of great links here too.
- VOTE TODAY to help GSF win $20,000 from the Jimmie Johnson Samsung Helmet of Hope contest, Go to VoteforSMA.com, select the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, enter the two security words, check the Official Rules Box, and then click "Vote Now." Do this every day through Sept. 29th.
- Purchase a lovable bunny from My Bunny and Me and choose to have your purchase support SMA research.
- If you blog, blog about SMA today. The more people know about SMA, the better.