Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Trainer with SMA Turns ‘Underdogs’ into Winners

From the moment Linzey Zoccola received her first service dog at age 16, she knew what she wanted to do with her life.

Zoccola has type 2 spinal muscular atrophy and has used a power chair since the age of 4. She has always been strongly independent, but having a service dog was a revelation.

Here was a creature that not only brought her joy and companionship, but also helped her perform tasks at home and school, achieve greater independence, and even smoothed her path socially.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Care Guidelines

The Family Guide to the Consensus Statement for Standard of Care in Spinal Muscular Atrophy was prepared by SMA Advocates for families affected by SMA. The full, 22-page text of the Consensus Statement was published in the August 2007 issue of the Journal of Child Neurology. Both are available as PDFs by following the links above.

Last Updated: 
Sat, 11/03/2007 - 14:34

MDA Awards $13.7 Million in Research Grants

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 40 research grants totaling $13.7 million to advance the understanding of disease processes and uncover new strategies for treatments and cures of muscular dystrophy and the more than 40 other diseases in the Association's program.

The new grants were recommended by MDA's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees and approved by MDA's Board of Directors at its July 2011 meeting.

Yellow Flower Number One

Danielle won awards for her artwork in high school and is currently studying graphic design at the International Academy of Design & Technology.  She has created banners for the local MDA summer camp.  Along with painting, Danielle also enjoys other arts and crafts and playing cards.

Waves of Life


Erin loved to attend summer camp and especially enjoyed swimming. This work of art was created in an MDA-sponsored children's art workshop held May 25, 1992 in Lafayette, LA.

White Bursts into Green

Mark has an associate’s degree in liberal arts from the Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, IL, and is certified in computer programming.  His hobbies include computer design and public speaking.  Mark volunteers for MDA in the Chicago suburbs area.

Wave Number 10

Morris is a former professional carpenter.  A self-taught artist, he prefers painting in oils and uses his love of nature to create landscapes and seascapes.  A wave that’s a perfect 10 is every surfer’s dream.

Winter Sepia Gold


Carl has been taking photos since 1972.  His technique has evolved from traditional film photography processes to using software for cropping, tonal control, color mixing and other effects with scanned images.  Although he uses a tracheostomy tube, Carl spends 95 percent of his field time by himself and uses a tripod to keep the camera steady.

Wheelchair Dancing

Melina has a proficiency certificate in English from Cambridge and Oxford Universities and attended the Panteion University of Athens.  She enjoys painting and sketching and has participated in a number of art exhibits.  She has also written and published literature.