Fun run leading the way for SMA

THE Million Steps fun run made a giant leap for Spinal Muscular Atrophy on Sunday in Traralgon, with more than $36,000 raised in the battle against the disease.

More than 600 adults, as well as a large contingent of children, turned out for the second annual fun run, an event organised by Lee Mackay to celebrate her daughter Taylin’s memory who passed away from SMA in 2008.

Mackay said the community support was overwhelming on the day, which eclipsed the $24,000 raised last year.

“We just feel really proud and honoured that everyone was there for us and to be remembering Taylin,” she said.

“Other families were there in memory of their children that passed away from SMA (so) it was amazing to be able to help them (as well) it was really humbling.”

The money raised will go toward SMA research in Western Australia, where giant medical strides are being made.

“It will make a massive difference for SMA Australia because they can now give more money to research in WA, so for babies born with SMA next year… there’s a good chance the human clinical trials will be able to help (those) babies,” Mackay said.

“That’s motivated me even more now.”

Planning is already underway for next year’s fun run, which has been scheduled for 10 November.

“It’s going to be bigger and better, we’ve had a lot of offers already,” Mackay said.

“Everyone wants to help and contribute; it’s amazing that everyone has seen how good the day was on Sunday and wants to be a part of it next year.”

Mackay has become an ambassador for SMA research and fundraising in recent years and said ongoing community support has been integral in her success.

“It’s just unbelievable to know that people care and to see their faces that they’re there for us and there to support SMA.”

“We want to thank everyone who participated, donated and helped on the day.”