06 September 2010

Miracle Mom ~ Stacy Wiparina's Inspiring Journey

Sean Flynn's piece and Katrine Naleid's photo in PARADE spotlight the remarkable story of Miracle Mom Stacy Wiparina and family...
"Wiparina is tiny and fragile and always has been. She was born with a genetic disorder called Type II spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). She has never walked -- she never even crawled as a baby -- and she has used a motorized wheelchair since she was 7, when her arms grew too weak to push a manual chair. [...But] Wiparina never considered living life childless. Giving birth seemed as obvious and natural to her as learning to drive, getting a college degree, and having a career -- all of which she did years ago, driving a joystick-controlled van at 21, graduating from Wright State University in 1996, and going to work in marketing for a global data-warehousing company. "Sometimes," she says, "I forget I'm in a chair."
Amazing! The fight to research, understand, and ultimately cure Stacy's and other muscular dystropies continues and is one reason my MIT colleagues and I run Neurotechnology Ventures. But the many such efforts could use everyone's philanthropic support, for example, by donating via the Jerry Lewis telethon or to the MIT Neurotechnology Fund.

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