SMA-growing up with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
. . my name is Nikolas.
Nikolas John Winward.
I am almost 3 years old!
I can do lots of thingsall by myself!
I know what I like, and what I dont like; I can talk and express
myself very well; I can color and help in the kitchen; I can play games with
my family; I can pick great shows on TV; I know how to race cars and play
marbles and throw balls too!
have 2 OLDER sistersBrianna and Ashleythey are twins.
have 1 YOUNGER sisterGidget.
I have a mom and a dad too!
fun to have a family.
We do lots of fun stuff together.
dad and me sometimes go out for fries and boy stuff.
The rest of them are girls, and sometimes they just dont understand
: ). But
it IS fun to be the big brother!
share some pets in our house.
Mikki is our wonder Dalmatian.
He sleeps a lot and likes to snort and roof.
He doesnt like to have his nails trimmed.
We tried to ride him like a horse, but that didnt work too good.
lizard (he doesnt have a name) sleeps in his cage in my room.
He eats crickets.
(Did you know, I like to pretend I was a brown cricket when I was a
cant really pet lizards, but they are neat to look at.
know lots of colors.
I like to look at bugs and hold them, and snakes and other things too!
Reading is one of my favorite things to do.
Swinging is too!
Pretending is lots of fun for me.
I can go anywhere and do anything then!
(I tell some pretty good stories too!
I have a great imagination.)
I get bigger, I am going to go to school, like my sisters.
I want to learn about everything because I am going to be a doctor
I can help people to feel better.
My mom and dad said I can be anything I want to be when I grow up.
love to go outside and feel the sun and the wind and watch the butterflies fly
all over! Going
for walks in the stroller is so much fun!
We collect leaves and rocks and sometimes chestnuts and walnuts.
Sometimes we can even stop and talk to people we see or pet an animal.
I want to know everyone and be a friend.
also have SMA-Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
If you have never heard of SMA, dont feel bad.
Lots of people never have.
Even my family and me didnt know about SMA until the doctors told
is a disease that makes my muscles weaker than most muscles are.
So I cant do a lot of things that most boys my age can do.
But I DID get to crawl for a while when I was a baby, and I CAN still
sit up by myself!
Dont be afraid to ask me about it. I am glad to tell people about SMA. The more people that know and learn about SMA, the closer we will come to finding a cure! Its not embarrassing to have a disease, thats something that you just dont get a choice in. And you dont need to feel sorry for me either, there are lots of kids who have it worse than me!
feel like you have to avoid me, or worry that I wont like the same things
as other kids.
I am just a normal boy, except that I dont do things exactly the
same way! If
you give me a chance, I would love to try just about anything.
I just may need a little extra help.
I will tell you if I dont like something too.
Communicating is a strong spot for me!
people think that I am lazy or spoiled because I sit most of the time.
me, I would love to be able to walk and run and play and chase!
most of us who have SMA dont get to enjoy that privilege.
I can still get around ok though.
I can roll all over, and I can go really fast when someone is chasing me! And I also get to drive a great wheelchairit has a joystick and I know how to make it go really fast! I also have a wild thing that is purple and fun to drive.
up is important.
But when you have SMA, lots of times you just cant stand up on your
everyday I go in my stander.
It helps me to stand and support my own body weight, but doesnt just
leave me to fall.
It lets me look out the window and reach my art easel and put marbles
in my cool marble tower.
I get scared of things that most kids arent scared of.
Dont make fun of me for this.
If you couldnt move very well for yourself, you would be a lot more
afraid of things too.
I need help, I will ask you for it.
But please dont try to just take over everything for me because I
cant learn that way.
And I need to learn so that I can grow up to be the best ME that
I can! The
more I am able to do for myself and those around me, the better off we all
I do ask for help, and you dont feel ok about helping, tell me that too.
I am not stupid, and I dont want to cause trouble for anyone.
And it may be that I need more help than I realize!
Maybe I am asking a friend when I need to be asking a grown up.
I need to learn these things to help prepare Gidget for when she gets older.
She has SMA also.
And she is depending on me to be a good big brother and help her!