Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, and impacting their ability to walk, eat, and breathe. With your help, we can change the course of SMA by support research, care, advocacy, and support services needed today.

About SMA Awareness Month

While our community works year-round to raise awareness and funds for SMA, August is our time to put a spotlight on those with SMA. As we begin to come out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to engage the SMA community and the public around SMA Awareness Month by hosting virtual events, telling compelling stories, and using social media to raise awareness and share information about SMA.

You can take part in SMA Awareness Month activities all month long! In fact, we are asking the community to “rise to the challenge” every day with our 31-day SMA Awareness Month Challenge! Each Sunday starting August 1, we will share a week’s worth of ways for you and your loved ones to spread awareness of SMA and strengthen your bond with the SMA community. You don’t have to do them all, but rather choose the things that best fit your schedule and interests.

Below you will find additional ways to participate in SMA Awareness Month, as well as links to assets and resources that might get you inspired. The key is to raise awareness and share your SMA pride all month long!

Check back next week to see what we have in store for the FINAL days of Cure SMA’s 31-day SMA Awareness Month Challenge!

Organize a Candle Lighting

Each year, the SMA community lights candles to remember those who have passed away from SMA, and to honor the different perspectives, interests, personalities, cultures, and more that make up the SMA community. This occurs at sunset on the second Saturday of August. This year’s candle lighting will take place on August 14, 2021. Don’t forget to submit your candle lighting photos to our Facebook community album!

Candlelight for SMA Awareness Month

Tell Us Your Story!

Now is the perfect time to raise our collective voice and share stories and experiences of those in the SMA community. Read and share our Community Spotlight stories featuring members of the SMA community, including newly diagnosed families, teens doing amazing things, and adults sharing their passions. Interested in sharing your story for SMA Awareness Month? Email [email protected] to learn more and we will contact you about your SMA journey.

You may also want to share your story with local media to bring greater attention to SMA and the issues important to our community. If so, we’ve put together a kit that will help you plan for awareness month outreach. This media kit will help when drafting story pitches for local or national media. Have a media/reporter connection or want to make a pitch? Email [email protected] for more information and ideas before making your pitch!

Share, Share, Share!

During this year’s SMA Awareness Month, we’re offering several ways to help spread awareness for SMA—on and off social media.

  • Change your Facebook profile picture to include the official Cure SMA frame for SMA Awareness Month!
  • Download and share Cure SMA fact graphics on your personal page or pages you manage. You can find them on our Social Share Page of our website.
  • Purchase an Cure SMA’s SMA Awareness Month packet. The reusable canvas zipper pouch contains bracelets, fact cards, temporary tattoos, and a variety of stickers to share with family, friends, and acquaintances who want to learn or show their SMA pride!
  • Participate in the SMA Awareness Month Community album on Facebook! Post photos to the comment section of the Facebook post or email them to [email protected] and we will add.
  • Tag Cure SMA in SMA Awareness Month events you and your loved ones join and use the hashtags #CureSMA and #SMAAwarenessMonth.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for SMA Awareness Month updates.

Choose to Advocate

SMA Awareness Month is a good time to think about how you can get involved in Cure SMA’s advocacy efforts. Advocacy is critical in advancing SMA-related policies, and the voices of those with individuals—and their families—are incredibly important and can make a real impact. Here are some actions you can take now to get involved.

Fill out this form to become a Cure SMA advocate.
Check out Advocacy Info Center to learn about priorities

You can also visit the Advocacy Action Center to view our latest and active action alerts. Click on the images below for a few action alerts you may consider supporting.

Donate to the Future

If you feel inspired to get involved and make an impact on the lives of those with SMA and their families, here are some giving opportunities taking place during SMA Awareness Month. And there are two opportunities for you to double your donation with match weekends! Contact [email protected] with questions about SMA Awareness Month.

  • August 4 — National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Dana, who founded Cookies4SMA, wants you to host your own bake sale during the month of August with proceeds supporting Cure SMA. Listen to Dana share her tips for bake sale success!
  • August 5-8 – Share your SMA journey online or in-person, donate to Cure SMA, and challenge your friends and family to match your contribution!
  • August 12-15 — Genetic testing company, Natera, Inc., will match all donations made to Cure SMA over this weekend, up to $5,000.
  • August 20-22 — Anyone who donates a gift of $50 or more over this weekend will have a chance to win a Cure SMA Swag Bag, sponsored by Natera, Inc.
  • August 27-29 — Specialty respiratory product company, PromptCare, will match all donations made to Cure SMA over this weekend, up to $2,500.
  • Make a larger, ongoing impact and sign up to become a monthly donor in support of Cure SMA.
  • Check out all the Facebook Fundraisers supporting Cure SMA this month and give to one…or consider starting your own!

You can also make a donation whenever you find it convenient using the Cure SMA donation page below.

Click here to donate

You can also visit the Cure SMA Chapter Page to find contact information of your local chapter leader. There may be families near you who are interested in joining forces for one or more of these ideas.