Alumna Fights SMA One Step at a Time
Manhattan College | Spring 2011 Magazine
MANY PEOPLE RUN to stay in shape and achieve a personal best time, but Lauren Lundy O’Connor ’02 is running for a cause. Since 2008, O’Connor and her SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) Asics have been hitting the pavement to raise funds to support the research of SMA and to ﬁnd a cure.
SMA is the No. 1 genetic killer of infants and young children and results in the loss of nerves in the spinal cord and the weakness of the muscles connected with those nerves. When O’Connor’s nephew Owen was diagnosed with SMA in 2008 at just two months and passed away three months later, she was motivated to start running for a cause, and founded teamrun4owen.com, a website that features information about SMA, Owen’s story, details on upcoming races, donation opportunities and more.
In October 2008, O’Connor ran the Dublin marathon and raised $6,000 for SMA, and all of the proceeds were donated to Columbia University’s Spinal Muscular Atrophy Clinical Research Center. Two years later, Michael Van De Loo ’94 connected with O’Connor through her website after he found out his daughter Ciara had SMA.
Click HERE or on the image below to read more on page 53 of the Manhattan College spring 2011 magazine…