LAKELAND – The Florida Southern men's soccer team once again served as volunteers for the eighth annual Cure SMA Walk-N-Roll held at Lake Parker Park on Saturday. The event was organized by the Greater Florida Chapter of the Cure SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) as part of its annual fund-raising campaign to assist SMA research and family support programs.
"I am very proud of my players for the volunteer work they do," said head coach Ryan Sniegoski. "The whole team helped again at the Cure SMA Walk and Roll at Lake Parker for the third consecutive year. The players always have a great attitude and really love helping a great cause. This is a great group of guys who enjoy giving back to a tremendous community."
Cure SMA is dedicated to the treatment and cure of SMA, the number one genetic cause of death for infants. There are four primary types of SMA: type I, II, III, and IV. The type of SMA is based on age of onset and the highest physical milestones achieved. SMA type I is the most severe and also the most common. Babies with type I usually face greater physical challenges than individuals with other types of SMA. The expected lifespan of a child with SMA type I can vary dramatically based on many factors. Individuals with SMA type II, III, or IV often have normal or near-normal lifespans. But their physical abilities differ, since no two cases are exactly alike, and their abilities may change over time. Although SMA is not generally regarded as a progressive disease, individuals with SMA typically lose function as muscles continue to weaken.
Since the inaugural Walk-N-Roll in 2009, the event has raised nearly $150,000 that has gone to fund critical research and help families that are dealing with SMA.