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About Summit of Strength

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The Summit of Strength is a community educational program crafted to provide people of all ages and types of SMA and their caregivers the opportunity to network and learn about the latest advances in treatment, care, advocacy, and support.

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About the Summit of Strength Program

The Summit of Strength is a free community educational program hosted by Cure SMA. 

This program is currently in its fifth year, after four successful years of bringing together over 5,300 attendees from across the U.S. By the end of 2023, Cure SMA will have held over 100 of these local one-day programs across the US.

Summits are crafted to provide people of all ages and types of SMA, and their caregivers, the opportunity to network and learn about the latest advances in treatment, care, advocacy, and support. 

This local engagement highlights Cure SMA’s core values and further strengthens the bonds that make our communities so vibrant!

How To Participate

  • Join the Movement

    Register Today

    Join us for your local educational event.

  • Spread the Word

    Spread the Word

    Invite family, friends, and caregivers – All are welcome!

  • Learn From Experts

    Learn from Experts

    Engage with interactive presentations from local and national professionals.

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Join Us for Summits of Strength

  • Fund Breakthroughs

    Connect with Peers

    Summits of Strength allow individuals with SMA and their caregivers an opportunity to network and connect with peers, as well as with leading experts in SMA research and care.

  • Change Lives

    Advance Your Knowledge

    Each summit offers a unique agenda of topics ranging from standard of care, research and clinical trials, navigating the special education process, stress management techniques, and much more! 

  • Empower the Community

    Meet Chapter Members

    Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the members of the community from their local Cure SMA chapter. This local engagement strengthens the bonds that make our community so vibrant! 

Cure SMA Story Spotlight

Making Waves:

Doug McCullough's Story

Before connecting with Cure SMA years ago, Doug McCullough had never met anyone else who had SMA. Doug has SMA Type 3 and works hard to promote inclusion of people with disabilities. He is an avid sports fan and participates in adaptive sports, such as cycling, kayaking, snow and water skiing, surfing, canoeing, and camping. 

Those in the SMA community often feel a roller coaster of emotions as they face diagnosis, treatment, and daily life. “Despite the historical stigma of disabilities, I never thought of myself as disabled growing up and worked to hide my ‘shortcomings’ as much as possible. I learned SMA doesn’t define me, but it is part of who I am,” said Doug. 

Read Doug's Full Story

Lighting Up the Night:

Shaakira Thomas and Family

Shaakira and her husband, Parris Sr., are parents to Aaliyah, Kassian, and four-year-old Parris Jr., who was diagnosed with SMA. Shaakira and Parris Sr. first noticed something amiss when Parris Jr. started walking. “He had a little wobble, and it took until just before his third birthday for us to get a diagnosis of SMA,” shared Shaakira.  

Despite her son’s challenges, Shaakira believes that SMA has made her family stronger. Shaakira helps support the SMA community by researching buildings that ‘light up’ for days of recognition and ensuring major landmarks across the US go purple to raise SMA awareness. 

Ready Shaakira's Full Story

Getting in the Game:

Brady Chan and Family 

Ten-year-old Brady Chan from North Carolina has big goals that stem from his passion for video games. He is part of an e-gaming team, where his favorite games include “Brawl Starts” and “Overwatch.” In the future, Brady hopes to become an engineer and create his own video games. 

Brady was diagnosed with SMA at 18 months old. Mimi, Brady’s mom says “Brady is a confident, young man with a magnetic personality. He loves reading, learning, gaming, and writing poetry. Brady loves conversation and has never had problems making friends. He does, however, see very clearly that SMA keeps him from doing things his friends can do. Sometimes, that’s okay. He doesn’t have to play on the mulched playground, and instead created a soccer crew.” 

Read Brady's Full Story

Thank You to Our Sponsors

National Presenting

Biogen     Genentech

National Platinum Sponsor

National Visionary

Scholar Rock