Surf Dog Ricochet and kids with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) caught waves last week during the 4th annual “Surf Away SMA With Ricochet” event at La Jolla Shores. SMA is a disease that robs individuals of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to hold their head up, stand, sit, crawl, walk, swallow food effectively, or breathe. The diagnosis comes with words no parent ever wants to hear…”No treatment, no cure.”
Some kids like Bailey (pictured above,) have a tracheostomy, a surgically created opening into the trachea that provides breathing assistance via a permanent ventilator. Bailey has Type I SMA—the most severe and the most common. Other kids have type II SMA. These kids can typically sit up without help, though they may need assistance getting into a seated position, but they are unable to walk and will require a wheelchair.
Although these kids have difficulty performing the basic functions of life, SMA does not affect their ability to think, learn, hope and dream of hitting the waves with a world-famous surf dog! Thanks to Ricochet, and an incredible team of skilled volunteers, that dream became a reality.
Please get on board, and join Ricochet in raising awareness of SMA by sharing this uplifting story of children who have a stoke much stronger than the body that houses it.