Leo Joseph Bugenske is a little boy fighting a big battle. Three weeks after Leo’s birth, doctors diagnosed him with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 1. Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a terminal neuromuscular disease that affects motor neurons and causes weakness and wasting of muscles. As the number one genetic killer of young children, SMA occurs in nearly one out of every 6,000 births.
Leo requires 24-hour skilled care, several different pieces of equipment for medical needs, ongoing monitoring of his health and special equipment for all day-to-day activities. Leo’s cost for special equipment and modifications will continue to grow with his age, and his parents also work toward enabling Leo to experience new adventures and see the world outside of his home. In order to provide safe travel that offers the necessary room required for equipment, Leo’s family needs a medical van.
Want to help? “Go Leo Go” is a 5K race and one-mile family walk scheduled for Oct. 25. Leo’s Pride is hosting the event with a goal of raising enough money to purchase a medical van necessary for Leo’s safe travel and to assist with additional costs for specialized equipment. But that is not all — Go Leo Go will also donate funds toward medical research for SMA and Families of SMA.
So lace up those running shoes and head down to Carolina Tan Factory, where the race begins at 8 a.m. For more information on race registration and donations, visit their website, www.runhard.org/pages/leo.php!