The fight against SMA: Long Beach High hosts walk for local family


Hearing something is wrong with your child can be a mother’s worst nightmare, but when one local mother got the news no parent wants to hear, her community stepped up to help.

“She is goofy, but she is always happy. She makes everyone smile. Everyone who sees her smiles and then random people want to hold her all of the time.” That’s how Kadie Williams describes her daughter, Blakeley.

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Blakeley is a 15-month-old girl with a contagious smile and she happens to have spinal muscular atrophy, also known as SMA. “It affects her survival motor neurons and she is lacking SMN1 that goes into those nerve endings and keeps her nerves alive to help build up her muscles and she doesn’t have that so her muscles are basically just dying.”

SMA kills more children than any other genetic disease. Having a child with SMA can be expensive, which is why students at Long Beach High School have come together to raise money for the family by hosting a walk this Saturday. “At first I was just like ‘oh that’s cool’ then once it really started sinking in I was like a whole walk just for her? Like an entire walk just dedicated to Blakeley. That is pretty awesome.”

The students are doing more than just hosting a walk. They are also selling t-shirts every single day to raise money for Blakeley and her family. Long Beach High student Cameran Savner said, “She should be treated as a normal human being and doing this we can raise money for her and get her, like I said, those treatments that will eventually help.”

The walk takes place Saturday, May 4th at 9 a.m. at the Long Beach Town Green. Everyone is encouraged to attend.