Hello EVERYONE! First, let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Trisha Morales. I am 15 years old, I was born September 4, 1992. I have SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is a progressive degenerative disease that there is no cure for. It affects my muscles and makes my legs and arms very weak. I was the first born of two children and my younger brother is un-affected by the disease that I have been diagnosed with. I walked at the age 1 and did all the normal things a baby does. When I was walking my parents started to notice that I would often fall. Since this continued, my Mom took me to the Doctor. They sent me for a lot of testing. They did a muscle biopsy and through some genetic testing diagnosed me with SMA. They said I was Type II.. In 1999 I moved in with my Dad, Step-mom, one half-brother and one step-brother. I started to see a Neurologist on a regular basis after that.
I was still walking on my own and told that I was very fortunate be doing so. A short time after that, I needed to get my first manual wheelchair. It was cool because I got to pick the color. I needed the chair mostly for school, and getting on and off the bus. Up until that point my step-mom was lifting me on and off the bus, at school they were doing the same and afraid of hurting me or themselves.
As for school, I attend a public school and I am going into the 8th grade. I am in general education classes, but I do go to adaptive P.E. and receive physical and occupational therapy. School and I don’t agree. I like to talk to my friends and do teenage things and school work usually bores me. Which of course frustrates my parents. I now use an electric wheelchair for school. I still have my manual, although my arms aren’t strong enough to wheel myself around all day or up and down ramps. I have independence in my power chair and that is easier on everyone. I still try to walk on my own as much as I can. I fall easily, so the school has requested I stay in the chair unless I am in the class room. Once I am home, the chair is parked and I walk inside the house.
I attended MDA camp a couple times and I also did a couple of commercials with Greg King (the President of Valero) that aired during the MDA Telethon. I also did a commercial with three of the anchors from a local television station in San Antonio, (Cynthia Lee, Michael Valdez, Chuck Micketinac). It was a great experience. I never would have thought I would be on T.V.
I have been lucky, I have only been in the hospital twice in the last 9 years. One of the times was only for a couple hours. Just long enough for them to hook me to an I.V., and get me re-hydrated, then they sent me home. I have had several falls and hurt my ankle a couple times. Recently I fell getting into my chair and hit my face. All in all I guess I am fortunate. Right now I use no assistive equipment other than my wheel chair. I generally stay in good health and do have an occasional “cold” but usually it goes away and I am fine.