just 15 months old, our bubbly, bright-eyed blondie Isabella was diagnosed
with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type II. She was a good sitter, but never achieved the ability to crawl, stand or
first 2 years after diagnosis were spent in a whirlwind of doctor appointments,
meetings with nutritionists, physical therapists, building a therapeutic pool,
acquiring new equipment, traveling to Madison WI, drug trials in Salt Lake City and
participating in national FSMA conferences.
We became avid fundraisers to fund the cure that they promise is close
at hand. Jeff joined the FSMA board in
2003 and Melissa serves as the Treasurer of the Minnesota Chapter. We enjoy traveling to SMA fundraisers all
over the country and have had a very special connection with the Northern
California FSMA Chapter and the Concert for the Cure.
Grandpa Gene Andrade assisted with some of the fundraising activities
his passing in November of 2006. The
Concert for a Cure is a wonderful, well-organized evening of fun to
these special kids. We all love
traveling out to the Bay Area to see family and attend the Concert for
Cure. Special thanks to our family in California – Marilyn
Andrade, Jolene and Bob Auen, and Shari and Darrin Downum for their
continued support in
the pursuit of a cure for SMA! A big
applause for the McHale and Dindzans families and their dedication to
Concert for a Cure’s continued success!
In February 2007, Bella became a big sister to Nicolas (SMA-free thanks to
PGD technology). She loved to sing to him and hold his hand.
now a very social and active 9½ yr. old, loves the freedom of her power
chair. She can chase Nicolas and us around with ease! Bella's keeping
busy with physical therapy, swim therapy and school. She will start 4th
grade in Minnesota
to the concert supporters who make this event a success year after year, and
who bring hope to all kids like Bella.
Melissa, Bella & Nicolas Andrade