Michigan State Police sergeant raising money for spinal muscular atrophy in honor of daughter
Jackson Citizen Patriot | February 17, 2011 | By
Michael Church and his wife, Jacqueline, knew their baby, Maria, had a developmental delay.
They just did not know how severe it was.
At 6 months, Maria was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a group of inherited diseases that cause progressive muscle degeneration and weakness, eventually leading to death, according to the National Institutes of Health.
A neurologist told the Jackson couple there was a slim chance Maria would live to be 2 years old.
“At that point, you’re just in total shock,” said Church, 41. “We just sat there and cried.”
Now, Maria is 3 years old, and Church is working to support other families who have children with the degenerative disease.
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