Author Archives: Alyssa Silva

Stepping Into a New Me in the Year Ahead

In the midst of decking the halls and savoring all that’s merry and bright, December also serves as a season of reflection for me. It’s my chance to look back on the last year and take inventory of all the things I experienced and learned, determine…

Starting a Small Business With SMA

In October, I fulfilled a childhood dream of mine by finally opening an online art shop. For years, friends and family encouraged me to do this. While I’m no Rembrandt, I have always enjoyed expressing my creativity in the form of drawings. Art is my favorite…

Life With SMA Can Feel Like an Anomaly

Recently, my little hometown in New England experienced one of Mother Nature’s many shenanigans: a decent-sized snowstorm in October, or “Snowtober.” This isn’t the type of climate we are conditioned to around here. Nevertheless, it was quite the sight to see a blanket of 6 inches of snow with trees…

Learning to Celebrate Life in New Ways

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one: I will be turning 30 at the end of the month. To keep my columns professional, I used a period for that previous sentence. But please know there were many exclamation points swirling around my brain. This milestone birthday is…

Small Joys Are Bigger Than They Appear

“So, what’s your silver lining?” a friend asked me one night in late spring. My parents and I had recently decided to go forth and allow outdoor visits again, as long as our guests followed social distancing and mask-wearing rules. He was the first visitor I had in months. I…

What Home Schooling Was Like for Me

I was a sophomore in high school when my parents and I agreed to home-school me during the winter months. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, but a necessary one nevertheless. In January of that year, I had been hospitalized with double pneumonia for the first time…

The Message I Discovered in Celery Juice

I admit that this column’s title is one I never thought I’d write. But alas, it is 2020, and most of this year has been a series of “never thought I’d ever” moments. So, for the sake of what’s on my heart today, I’ll accept how unconventional the title is…

SMA Strengthens the Heart

In a speech to hundreds of people at my nonprofit organization’s annual gala, my mother stood at the podium and delivered her words poignantly and eloquently. She has always had a way with words, knowing what to say at the right time while leaving the audience…

Why I’m Sticking to Spinraza for Now

It’s officially August, which is kind of hard to believe. Nonetheless, many people in the SMA community have anticipated this month for quite some time. Not only is it SMA Awareness Month, but it is also when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was expected to…

What Working at BioNews Has Taught Me

This is going to be a tough truth to admit, mostly because I’m still a little embarrassed by it all these years later. But, here we go. When I was originally offered this role as a columnist for BioNews — the company that publishes this website — I turned…