Thirty Santa Barbara Marathon Runners Raise Over $43,000 for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation

SANTA BARBARA, CA – November, 3, 2011 –Thirty Santa Barbara Marathon runners from around the country collectively raised over $43,000 for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF), a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the #1 genetic killer of young children, and accelerating research focused on a cure.

The thirty “Team GSF” runners will congregate in Santa Barbara to participate in the Santa Barbara International Marathon on November 12, 2011. Team members hail from California to New York and include GSF co-founder and father to Gwendolyn, Bill Strong, other SMA parents, families, and friends, and individuals moved by GSF’s efforts and the SMA cause. Beyond funding for SMA, Team GSF has also raised much needed awareness of SMA, its shocking statistics, its brutal progression, and its dire prognosis.

“To say we’re humbled by what the thirty inspiring Team GSF Santa Barbara Marathon runners have accomplished would be an enormous understatement,” said Bill Strong, GSF co-founder. “There is something unbelievably powerful about a group of individuals coming together to challenge and push their physical strength to the limits to help conquer a disease that robs children of theirs. We’ve all committed to running because we can and we’re running so one day those with SMA can too.”

SMA is a terminal, degenerative genetic disease that impacts the voluntary muscles in infants and children, including the ability to walk, sit, stand, eat, breathe, and even swallow, while cognitive ability is never affected. Ninety percent of children born with SMA die before the age of two. One in every 40 people or nearly 175 Million globally unknowingly carry the gene responsible for SMA. There is currently no treatment or cure and although SMA research is underfunded, it is extremely advanced. GSF is focused on helping ensure resources are not the obstacle in attaining that cure.

To donate to Team GSF Santa Barbara Marathon, please visit http://bit.ly/TeamGSFSBMarathon

To learn more about SMA and GSF, please visit GwendolynStrongFoundation.org

About Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF) – GSF is based in Santa Barbara, California and seeks to increase awareness and research funding for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic killer of young children. To learn more about SMA and GSF, please visit GwendolynStrongFoundation.org

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