Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is characterized by progressive muscle weakness from degeneration and loss of the lower motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brain stem nuclei. Poor weight gain, sleep difficulties, respiratory complications, joint contractures and paralysis are common complications. There is no cure.
Despite his diagnosis, Eduardo is just like his first grade peers. He loves Legos, museums and art. He plays baseball with the Holland League, rides horses at Pegasus and swims. He has a beautiful spirit and zest for life. But unlike most of his peers he has to rely on a wheelchair for mobility. His current mode of transportation is a large, heavy power wheelchair. The size and weight of the chair make it impossible to get to the main living area of their ranch style home or to use in the bedrooms and baths.
Eduardo’s parents work closely with his therapists and they suggested he have a manual Zippie wheelchair. The chair weighs 30 lbs. and can be adapted to fit a child’s size up to age 10. After the $2,700 chair was denied by their insurance, Eduardo’s school physical therapist referred the family to the Foundation and their request was granted. The family was simply amazed by the quick response and ultimate approval for the chair.
“We are so grateful that such a group exists for families like us,” said Karen Urdaneta. Now Eduardo can move about his home independently. And, he can take it on play dates, just like every other six year old boy!