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SMA Australia

SMA AUSTRALIA

Phone: (03) 9796 5744

Ryan SmithMy name is Ryan Smith, I am currently 30 years old and have lived in South Australia my whole life. I was diagnosed with SMA at the age of 15 when I noticed that I would fall or struggle when doing activities that all my school friends could do, such as running, playing sports and getting up from the ground unassisted. My parents took me to my GP who had me sent off for tests and eventually, to see a geneticist. Once the results came in I was told I had a rare disease called SMA and that I likely had type 3.

During my teenage years I didn’t notice much of a change in my physical capabilities. I could do most things people my age could do. I would occasionally have trouble running and climbing flights of stairs. I could walk and sit with minimal to no trouble.

In my early twenties I found my muscles getting considerably weaker. I had a lot of trouble standing from regular seats and with stairs. I would fall for what seemed like no good reason, often in crowded public areas such as shopping centres or when going out.

Now I am in my thirties and my SMA has gotten considerably worse. I am no longer able to walk unassisted and constantly feel weak and fatigued. I cannot use regular seating, climb stairs, or push myself in a wheelchair. My house has been outfitted with various devices and tools to help my mobility, such as railings, higher than usual chairs and a high toilet seat.
I rarely leave the house without the help of my parents and have had to purchase a van with mobility aids just to get to appointments. I have had a work and volunteer history of over 10 years, but find I am no longer able to hold a conventional job/career and am currently seeking Disability Support Pension.

It is my hope that with the help of our government, and newly emerging research and medications, that I will one day be able to get my mobility back and be able to live a normal life once again.