How a Bright Spirit Shines Through SMA

Milestones. Oh, the firsts! When you have a new baby, your whole life revolves around firsts: first bath, first smile, first tooth, first roll, first uninterrupted night of sleep (yes!). You read up constantly on the next milestone and wait nervously for baby to perform it at a perfectly scripted interval. But sometimes, he doesn’t.
Then what? What if delayed milestones actually lead up to symptoms and a diagnosis like spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)?

This is exactly the scenario of Christine Getman, a 29-year-old woman who was not expected to make it past the age of two. According to a report produced by KOIN 6 News (the local CBS affiliate in Portland, OR) earlier this year, Christine’s parents were concerned that she was not developing and meeting major milestones at 14 months old. It was then that a doctor diagnosed Christine with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

SMA has caused Christine to have muscle weakness, and she currently has very little movement in her hand. Since the age of two, she has been in a wheelchair.

Christine shares her story about how she can do it all despite having SMA. She has two degrees from Portland State University—one in community health and the other in psychology.

Wheel to Walk Foundation is her family’s nonprofit, in which she is involved. There she does the graphic designs, grant writing, and overall promotion of the nonprofit.

Christine is currently engaged to be married. She cherishes life and is independent. Her bright spirit shines throughout the video.

There is a new clinical trial for adults with SMA in Boston.

She is very excited about being a participant in this long awaited trial. Christine hopes that the experimental treatment will give her more energy and strength. She wants to be able to hug her fiancé, and with this medicine, she might get to for the first time. She believes that there will be a new drug to prevent the progression of SMA or a way to diagnose SMA earlier.

Watch the video here.


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