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Posted on November 7, 2012 | 5:18 p.m.

Mission Wealth Management Raises Funds, Awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Research

Source: Dannell Stuart for Mission Wealth Management

Mission Wealth Management LLC has raised more than $10,000 toward research for a cure for spinal muscular atrophy with the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation at the Santa Barbara International Marathon this Saturday.

SMA is the No. 1 genetic killer of infants and young children. Currently, there is no treatment and no cure to help children suffering from this degenerative disease which hinders their ability to walk, stand, eat, speak, breathe and swallow.

Given the breakthroughs in SMA knowledge and research, scientists believe that $20 million to $30 million of funding led by the National Institute of Health would most likely result in treatment within five years. Despite the remarkable opportunity for developing treatment, SMA research currently receives less annual federal funding than most other diseases of similar prevalence and severity.

Developing a treatment for SMA has added importance because SMA has been identified as a “model disease,” and any advance in SMA genetic research has the potential to directly impact the treatment or cure of more than 600 other diseases, including muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mission Wealth Management has joined Team GSF and its clients, the Strong family, to help raise money for research towards a cure.

“In working with the Strong family with their personal financial planning, we became aware of their mission with the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation,” said Seth Streeter, co-founder and president of Mission Wealth Management. “We were so moved by their tremendous passion and commitment that we wanted to show our support by participating in the upcoming SBIM to help raise funds and awareness for this most worthy cause.”

Mission Wealth Management will have 28 runners participating in the race and taking on various distances ranging from the full marathon (26.2 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles) to four or nine mile legs in a marathon relay.  They will all be proudly wearing theGSF “Never Give Up” jersey and running so that one day those suffering from SMA can, too. 

Raising $10,350 as of Tuesday through contributions from 83 donors, including Mission Wealth Management staff, clients and community members, Mission Wealth Management is thrilled to have exceeded their fundraising goal to raise $10,000 for Team GSF and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.

The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation is a local nonprofit organization that was created as a result of the Strong family’s firsthand experience with SMA when their daughter, Gwendolyn, was diagnosed with Type I at 6 months of age. The foundation is dedicated to increasing global awareness of SMA, accelerating research focused on ending this cruel disease, and supporting families impacted by SMA and other life-altering conditions.

“We are incredibly honored that Mission Wealth Management, a leader in our business community, has been inspired to run for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation in the Santa Barbara International Marathon this November,” said Bill Strong, founder of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. “Spinal muscular atrophy is a brutal terminal disease that robs children of the ability to move. We think there is something unbelievably profound about people challenging themselves physically to help those who are physically challenged, and we are thrilled that the Mission Wealth Management team is lacing up alongside us in November to help change the future of SMA. Never give up.”

Click here for more information about the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Click here to donate to Team GSF.

— Dannell Stuart is the business development director at Mission Wealth Management.

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