31 Days of SMA

31 days of SMA will run through the month of August for SMA awareness month. Everyday for the next 31 days a different member of the SMA community will share their story and unique perspective on life with SMA.

31 Days of SMA: People With SMA Can Follow Their Dreams

From left, Tonje, Morten, and baby Gulla. (Photo courtesy of Tonje Larsen) Day 6 of 31 This is Tonje Larsen’s (@rollin_with_tonye) story: Hi, my name is Tonje. I’m 23 years old and was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2. I live in Norway, and I’m…

31 Days of SMA: On Breaking Barriers and Keeping Hope Alive

Jose and his wife, Andrea. (Photo courtesy of Jose Flores) Day 5 of 31 This is Jose Flores’s (@joseinspires) story: A barrier is any obstacle that prevents movement or access. My name is Jose Flores, and I’m a 45-year-old from Florida, a global motivator, consultant, and No. 1…

31 Days of SMA: On Becoming Miss Independence

Photo courtesy of Chessa Birrell Day 4 of 31 This is Chessa Birrell’s story: My name is Chessa Birrell. I am 26 years old and have SMA type 2. I live with my parents in Powder Springs, Georgia. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree…

31 Days of SMA: Instead of a Horse, I Got a Wheelchair

Photo courtesy of Stéphanie Houvet Day 3 of 31 This is Stéphanie Houvet’s (@stefookie) story: My name is Stéphanie and I’m from France. My father is French and my mother comes from the Czech Republic; they met on holidays. I was born in the Czech Republic with…

31 Days of SMA: Facing My Challenges in Becoming a Mom

Megan DeJarnett, left in wheelchair, with her husband, Jake, and her sons Bronx, left, and Shai. (Photo courtesy of Megan DeJarnett) Day 2 of 31 This is Megan DeJarnett’s (@megandejarnett) story: I remember being around 10 years old when I heard the doctor tell my parents that the…

31 Days of SMA: I Almost Couldn’t Help Becoming an Advocate

Photo courtesy of Ben Mattlin Day 31 of 31 This is Ben Mattlin’s (@benmattlin) story: The disability rights movement in the U.S. is known for many achievements — the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, blocking buses to demand accessible transit, the Capitol Crawl. But its crowning accomplishment to…