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A Hope for a Cure
Garage sale helps fight spinal muscular atrophy

When little Angie Lee was born, she was like any other infant. But that soon changed.

By the time Angie should have been old enough to walk, her parents suspected there was something different about her. Despite her previous physical developments, Angie never tried to walk. Doctors determined Angie has spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, a progressive genetic disease. Children with SMA don’t produce a protein needed to send signals from her spinal cord to her neurons. The disorder means Angie’s muscles are weak and she’s wheelchair bound. The condition can be fatal as it inhibits voluntary muscle movement - everything from crawling and walking, to head and neck control, to swallowing.

Angie’s friends and family know her as any other kid. She’s sweet, bright, loves reading and writing. That spirit gave her friends and neighbors inspiration to join together as “Angie's Hope” to fight SMA in her honor.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, the Garage Sale to Cure SMA raised money for Families of SMA, based in Libertyville, which funds research. The fundraiser started three years ago, started by Angie’s best friend 10 year old Kyra Scadden.

“She already planned to have a garage sale to sell some toys,” said Kris Scadden. “As soon as the neighborhood caught wind of it they all jumped in. So, instead of the 200 dollars she hoped to raise, she raised over 9000 the first year.”

Three years later, the girl’s sale has grown to something these friends and their families can barely imagine. To date Kyra and her friends have raised more than thirty thousand dollars to help find a cure for SMA. Friends are even finding creative ways to help raise money, like the Scadden’s neighbor Karen Pomazal.

“We decided to private label one of our coffee brands, “Tanzania Hope” coffee making it Angie’s Tanzania Hope. It’s available on our website and on Angie’s too. 20% of the profits will go to cure SMA,” Pomazal said.

Edmund and Kim Lee said, “It’s seeing this and feeling this support. It’s really a lot of work. For this kind of support is more meaningful to us. SMA is known well in this neighborhood. That’s really a wonderful thing for awareness.”

For Kyra’s mom, Kris Scadden, it’s all about teaching this young group of friends a valuable lesson: making a difference.

“For all these children for them it will mean because they cleaned out a playroom they helped find a cure,” Scadden said.

Lindsey Theis reports.

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