In honor of National Volunteer Month in April, Cure SMA has shared stories and quotes from volunteers who support our programs and further grow our community. Cure SMA is incredibly grateful for the volunteers who keep this organization strong.
Elizabeth Lockwood is a grandmother. Her grandchildren are Emma and Nick, both young adults with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Like most in the community, Elizabeth had not heard of SMA until Emma’s diagnosis. Soon after, Elizabeth started volunteering with us when we were still known as Families of SMA. Now, years later, she is still an active member of the Cure SMA community and a frequent volunteer.
As Elizabeth reflects on her experience, she notes that volunteering gave her the outlet to cope with the grieving that came with her grandchildren’s diagnosis. “I volunteer because I have a passion to see a cure for SMA,” she shares. Elizabeth leads the Cincinnati Walk-n-Roll committee, which has been taking place every year for more than 16 years. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, this walk will be a part of the June 5th Walk-n-Roll event.
“The annual Walk-n-Roll could not happen without our many volunteers,” notes Elizabeth. The Walk-n-Roll has committees that take care of the many different aspects of the event. The committees include set-up, games, food, face painting, registration, and t-shirt distribution. “From the DJ and photo booth to the food and face painting, it truly takes a community to get this event up and running.” She explains that the t-shirt distribution has been taken care of, almost from the beginning, by the Haake family across town. She also feels blessed to have Sherry Langland, who was a professional graphic artist who makes our signage, as well as support from The Polished Girlz.
“When I think back on all the years of volunteering and all the progress that has been made—such as three FDA–approved treatments, newborn screening, the growth of the organization, the conferences attended by people all over the world, and scientists sharing their information which has brought about all of this success—how can you stop?”
– Elizabeth Lockwood, Cure SMA Volunteer and Grandmother to Emma and Nick
The Cincinnati Walk-n-Roll team also holds a garage sale to raise funds for awesome raffle items like an Apple Watch, Bose sound systems, and more. “Our raffle committee chairperson, Marilyn Pater, puts our baskets together with such perfection and eye appeal that our raffle is why many attend the Walk. When you have more than 30 chances to win, people really look forward to that part of our walk,” says Elizabeth. At some point during the Walk-n-Roll, Elizabeth and her team hold a butterfly release in memory of those who have passed away from SMA.