Passion for gardening turns into growing business

July 7, 2011

Passion for gardening turns into growing business

Cedar Valley Business Monthly | July 6, 2011 | By Dave Rasdal

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa— Josh Spece pushes a little joystick forward and happily zips along a gravel path among hundreds of varieties of hostas surrounding his home. He doesn’t allow his wheelchair to block his dreams.

Spece, 31, couldn’t walk as a baby and was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. He grew up playing in the garden, graduated from high school in Independence and earned a horticulture degree from Hawkeye Community College. In 1998 on his parents’ farm, Spece opened a garden and gifts store, In the Country.

“Plants have just always been something I’ve been interested in. Even when I was little we had a vegetable garden and I was always out there with Mom.”

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Six-year-old remains active despite Spinal Muscular Atrophy diagnosis

December 20, 2010

Six-year-old remains active despite Spinal Muscular Atrophy diagnosis

Quad-Cities Online | December 18, 2010 | By Laura Anderson

Ella Christopher sat at her kitchen table, scribbling a crayon back and forth on a coloring book page.

“This is what we do every day after school,” said her mother, Amy Christopher.

Things are a little better now for the Eldridge family, but they aren’t easy. Ella, 6, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, type 2, when she was 14-months-old.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a progressive, neuro-muscular disease that causes progressive weakness, Ms. Christopher said. “She basically atrophies.”

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