Over $100,000 Raised at New England Walk-n-Roll to Help SMA

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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walking ability in type 3 SMA

Over 600 walkers and runners helped raised more than $100,000 during the 15th Annual New England Chapter Walk-n-Roll, on Saturday, May 16, at the DCR Wompatuck Park in Hingham, MA. The participants in the event walked through 1.5 miles to support patients who suffer from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), gathering money to fund research to find a cure for the chronic and life-threatening disease.

The Walk-n-Roll is an annual fundraising event that already became a tradition for several families. The participants gather, not only to support the cause, but also to meet with others sharing the same intention and values. The organization of the event has reached a milestone last year achieving $1 million in donations throughout the history of the walk.

This year, the fundraisers helped raised over $100,000. In addition to the walk itself, the event is enlivened by a series of activities, including face painting and several games to entertain younger participants, while local Boy Scouts hand out fruit, granola bars, water and ice cream cups.

The New England Chapter Walk-n-Roll was initiated by Silvia Murphy 15 years ago, after her family lost two children suffering from SMA. Two other families, the Farrell and the Norton, have also joined the organization throughout the years to help Silvia, while numerous volunteers also contribute for the success of the event. The Walk is supported by the non-profit organization Cure SMA and Biogen, which for the last two years has been one of the greatest sponsors of the event. Ride-Away, John Hoadley Plumbing and Heating, Campanelli, Scituate Orthodontics and Tedeschi Food Shops of Cohasset also sponsored the walk.

Last April, $107,000 in donations were raised during the Annual Muscles for Mckenna Gala, which was held for the third year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to support Cure SMA. The fundraising event is held every year in honor of Mckenna Ellixson, the five-year-old daughter of the organizers Amy and Jim Ellixson, who suffers from SMA type III. Over the last three years, the gala has raised a total of $321,000, which funds promising research projects on SMA.