Strolling for SMARD

Walk for those who can’t and help support SMARD research

Meet Dakin Lovelace, age three. At birth he appeared completely healthy.  But around three months of age, he was suddenly no longer able to breathe. He was finally diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disease called spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress (SMARD). SMARD robs children of the ability to walk or even breathe on their own. And until very recently, Dakin and his family had little hope for any kind of treatment or cure.

Recently, Dakin’s family learned of the work of Associate Professor Greg Cox, Ph.D., at The Jackson Laboratory. He, along with his research team, is one of the few genetic scientists in the world committed to better understanding this devastating disorder. This work gives children like Dakin great hope.

Learning about this research has brought hope to the Lovelaces and other families in the SMARD community. They now are doing everything they can to help make SMARD a priority at The Jackson Laboratory by raising funds to advance the research—work that could possibly help Dakin and his peers.

Strolling for SMARD will take place September 24, 2011. Friends and supporters will gather at White Oak High School stadium in White Oak, Texas, to take a stroll around the track and enjoy the ability to walk. The event will include a silent auction and games for kids. The goal of the event is to raise $5,000 for SMARD research.


The registration fee for this event is $10.00 per person, which is a tax-deductible donation to support SMARD research at The Jackson Laboratory. Registration is free for kids 10 and younger.

Please register through our secure online registration form, by phone at 1-866-393-0518 or by mailing checks and participant names to The Jackson Laboratory, P.O. Box 254, Bar Harbor, ME 04609. Please include “Strolling for SMARD” in the check memo area. On-site registration is also accepted. T-shirts for the event are $9.00 and can be ordered by emailing

Please join us in working toward a cure for Dakin! All proceeds will benefit SMARD research. If you are unable to participate, but would like to contribute, please donate online.

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SMARD research

Dr. Greg Cox is advancing SMARD research, a disease he says is "the rarest of the rare."

Read more

SMARD research gifts

Thank you to those who have made generous gifts to advance SMARD research.

See list of donors

The Jackson Laboratory main site
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