The Avery Gator Run is a fundraising event to raise money to benefit the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Nedical Center in their continued research to find a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Muscular Dystrophy (MD). We hope that breakthroughs from this research will benefit local students in Avery, Beacon, and Brown Elementary, as well as other students in Hilliard City Schools and beyond.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic killer in infants. It is an inherited disease that results in loss of nerves in the spinal cord and weakness of the muscles connected with those nerves. There is no known treatment for SMA; historically, nearly half of babies born with the most severe form of the disease have passed away before the age of two. Other children with the disease have progressive disability and normal cognitive functions.
Dr. Stephen Kolb from The Ohio State University (OSU) is conducting a research study at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) and 15 other sites across the nation because there is strong scientific evidence in animal models of SMA that treatment of SMA may be successful if delivered in the first 3-6 months of age in humans and preferably before symptoms develop. At this time, however, researchers (Dr. Brain Kasper from Nationwide Children's Hospital) who are developing therapies for SMA find that there is little to no information about how to study infants with SMA during the course of a clinical trial. That is why this study is important. The subjects in this study will teach us how to perform the critical SMA therapeutic clinical trials of the future. This study aims to identify ways to measure how SMA affects infants compared to their peers and determine whether they are getting better, worse or staying the same. In addition, healthy infants in this study will provide the normal baseline to be used for future SMA trials and will also provide a baseline that may be used in studies for other pediatric diseases.
Proceeds from this event will benefit The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hopsital SMA research.