10-year-old benefits from MDA camp

Tuesday, August 26th 2008, 8:45 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - A local 10-year-old made friends and memories at a Muscular Dystrophy camp. At camp, children with muscular dystrophy can meet and bond with other children who are just like them.

Drawing is one of Katy Smith's favorite ways to pass the time and it's one of her favorite things to do at the Muscular Dystrophy Association's camp.

"We got to play games and arts and crafts. I like to do the beads and draw," Katy Smith said.

Katy was diagnosed with juvenile spinal muscular atrophy.  Her mother noticed problems early on.

"She would fall a lot because her legs would just give out on her," said Dawn Smith, Katy's mother.

Thanks to surgery, walking is no longer a problem, but the disease sets her apart from other 10-year-olds.

"We did have a few episodes where she would come home from school upset that the kids were making fun of her and the only thing I could tell her is that God made her special," said Smith.

But through MDA camp, Katy has found a place where she is accepted and she has made friends who are just like her.

"Katy looks forward to going to those camps every year. She loves going to the camps as a matter of fact," Smith said. "When we picked her up this year, she said ‘Mom when are we going to go to camp again? What time is camp next year?'"

Dawn is grateful for the MDA. Not only for the camps and the specialized treatment, but for the one-on-one attention from people who understand the disease.

"Also emotional support, because I know there are times I just break down. You just want to cry, just for the emotional support to be able to talk to someone that has this helps," Smith said.