ASHLEY: I learned of Lucy’s SMA diagnosis through newborn screening. We’d never heard of SMA. We had no idea what SMA was, had no idea that we were both carriers.
STEVE: We had an appointment with a neurologist, where we learned what her diagnosis actually meant for her.
ASHLEY: At the appointment, they ran testing to confirm that she did indeed have SMA. She said that she only had 2 backup genes of SMN2, which historically went with Type 1. Lucy was 11 days old when she was diagnosed.
STEVE: We were told that without treatment, children diagnosed with SMA Type 1 typically won’t live past 2 years. But we were also receiving very good news that there were treatments that had been FDA approved, and that actually carried a lot of hope.
ASHLEY: Our neurologist told us about 2 treatments, and 1 of the 2 treatments was ZOLGENSMA. After doing a lot of research and contacting other families, we felt that that really was the avenue that we wanted to go down. Our doctor wanted Lucy to receive ZOLGENSMA because she saw very promising results. She said that it kind of halts the disease progression. She looked at Lucy and said, “This is the one that we need to pursue as soon as we can.” She said, “You know, right now Lucy had a lot of strength.” She still had a lot of vibrancy in her.
ASHLEY: Once we made the decision, we were assigned a resource manager. They kind of coached us through all this paperwork and all the tests that we actually had to have happen. There was bloodwork that was administered in order to make sure that she was a candidate and to establish her baseline levels. Lucy started taking the steroid a day prior to the infusion, as directed by the doctor. Going into infusion day, Lucy didn’t show any signs of SMA.
STEVE: Lucy received treatment with ZOLGENSMA when she was 38 days old. Treatment day was kind of more of a peaceful day, believe it or not.
ASHLEY: That morning that we arrived to the hospital, we just kind of knew that we could take a little bit of a breath and say, “Okay, we did it. We made it this far.” After treatment with ZOLGENSMA, she did have the elevated liver enzymes. They did do the bloodwork to track.
ASHLEY: Today, as a one-year-old, Lucy is able to breathe on her own. Lucy is able to sit in her high chair. She picks up her own drink. She’s crawling. She’s climbing all over the furniture. She loves to dance. She loves to laugh. She can stand with assistance. And she can even stand on her own now for a couple of seconds.
ASHLEY: We continue to work with our doctors and her medical team.
STEVE: Lucy does receive physical therapy every week. It’s important because it allows us to continually track her progression and make sure she’s continuing to meet her milestones.
ASHLEY: You know, for her to be treated so young, to meet so many of these milestones for us, you know, it exceeded anything that we ever could have expected.
STEVE: ZOLGENSMA gave Lucy a chance to live a life in defiance of her diagnosis, so that we could see her smile, we could see her meet her milestones—get to meet the person behind Lucy.
ASHLEY: One day I hope that we see adults, teenagers, and children, just all out living, you know, daily life. And, you know, there’s people out there in the community that have SMA that you wouldn’t even know were diagnosed.
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