Blankets for 
Spinal Muscular Atrophy




By: MJ Purk

4 years ago I started an organization for newly diagnosed children with SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I started it in March of 2004. I started my organization because Brenda, my caregiver, had made me too many quilts. Brenda learned to quilt a few years ago and by April she had made me more quilts than I needed.

So that she could continue to enjoy quilting we had decided that we were going to help a friend who had an organization that gave blankets and toys to children with SMA. Brenda told her mom about this organization and her mom decided to help too. When Brenda came home from Easter vacation she had several quilts that she and her mom had made. When we contacted our friend she informed us that she was no longer going to be doing her organization. We were unsure what we were going to do with so many blankets, so I decided that we should start our own organization, B4SMA (Brenda came up with the name). B4SMA stands for Blankets for Spinal Muscular Atrophy kids.

Our first blanket was sent to a little girl in Vermont. Her mom e-mailed us the day they received the blanket, which was a Monday. She also sent us a picture of her daughter with the blanket. When we woke up Tuesday morning there was an e-mail from the little girl's mom saying she had passed away. Her mom, in honor of her daughter, made me a photo album so I can keep all the pictures of the kids that are sent blankets in a safe place.

We have now sent out about 607 blankets to kids with SMA. With each blanket we send two or three beanie babies. Besides Brenda and I, we now have several volunteers crocheting, knitting, tying, and quilting blankets for B4SMA. We also have a few others who support our efforts financially. All donations are greatly appreciated. We hope to have more volunteers help us, as B4SMA grows. Once families receive their blanket all we ask of them is that they take a picture of their child with the blanket. I hope one day, when there is a cure for SMA, there will not be a need for anymore kids to receive blankets from us, but until that day I will continue to send blankets.


Our sole purpose is to provide love and blanket hugs to SMA children and their families. B4SMA was founded in March 2004 by MJ Purk and Brenda Hanson.

MJ has lived with SMA for twenty years and has always enjoyed supporting SMA families and their endeavors. Brenda has been MJ's caregiver and friend since 1991.

Brenda learned to quilt a few years ago and has since made MJ too many quilts.

MJ and Brenda started sending them to their buddies who also have SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

SMA is a neuromuscular disease that strikes young children.

MJ has type 1, the most severe type, but is a strong type 1.

Many kids with type 1 pass away before the age of two, but there are many living past that with the help of new treatment options. MJ wants to bring and give hope to newly diagnosed parents of a child with SMA. This website is dedicated to all of the children who have passed away from SMA, including MJ's sister Emma!!!



 MJ and Brenda would gladly accept any donations to help give blanket hugs to more kids.

They accept the following types of kid friendly fabric:

Fleece, flannel, cotton prints, and finished blankets (crocheted, knitted, tied, and quilted)

They also accept small, clean, stuffed animals and monetary donations.

Monetary donation checks or money orders should be made out to MJ Purk with B4SMA in the memo line. (Please note that, as of right now, B4SMA is not a 501(c) 3 organization)

You can also support B4SMA by shopping at their store - https://www.cafepress.com/b4sma

Contact B4SMA for information on how YOU can help SMA kids receive a blanket hug.