About Fight SMA

The Mission of FightSMA

FightSMA, known legally as “Andrew’s Buddies Corporation,” was created to strategically accelerate the search for a treatment and cure for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the number-one inherited cause of infant death. The organization pursues this objective by raising awareness and funding for SMA research. For reference, our EIN is 54-1610701.

The Story of FightSMA

Since its creation in 1991 as “Andrew’s Buddies,” FightSMA has worked to bring higher levels of awareness and understanding of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). It began its crusade with a successful 30-day campaign to raise $100,000 to supply researchers with vital gene-search equipment.

In the years since, FightSMA has funded SMA researchers at numerous academic institutions and biotech corporations in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada. The group has been involved since the initial (and successful) search for the gene that causes SMA to the more recent efforts to identify compounds which can compensate for the faulty gene and, ultimately, provide treatment for the disease. Read more about FightSMA’s Research Legacy

FightSMA has brought attention to the disease, winning praise from the White House, Congress, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It has generated news coverage from NBC’s Today Show, the Associated Press, USA Today, The New York Times, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Reports, Southern Living Magazine, Roll Call, Parents Magazine, CNN’s Headline News, and many local media outlets. Its programs have won numerous awards from various community and professional organizations, including the YWCA and the Public Relations Society of America.

Much of the organization’s success is due to a strong network of energetic and committed Chapters located across the United States and in Canada. These chapters organize fundraising campaigns and events and work to bring attention to SMA in numerous communities. In addition to the FightSMA chapters, there are families and supporters in other communities who work in fundraising and awareness-building capacities. These efforts have been supported by the work of the former National Honorary Chairman of FightSMA, NFL legend, Howie Long.

An important part of the FightSMA year is the Annual Conference. This meeting provides an extraordinary opportunity for researchers to collaborate and plan for the future, for SMA families to hear from scientists and clinicians, and for supporters to present their Congressional representatives with information about spinal muscular atrophy. FightSMA works with other SMA groups to encourage the federal government to increase its financial support for SMA research.

An Informed and Focused Strategy

FightSMA works intimately with leading SMA scientists from around the world, helping to articulate and support a focused research strategy. That strategy identifies the most promising SMA research opportunities, coordinates the efforts of numerous laboratories, and makes the most effective use possible of precious financial resources.

The FightSMA research strategy is tightly aligned with the approach articulated by leading SMA scientists in their Spring 2003 “Open Letter of Scientists to the Director of the National Institutes of Health on Spinal Muscular Atrophy.” That letter reads, in part:

“Our most educated expectation is that with NIH funding of $20 to $30 million annually, an effective therapy for spinal muscular atrophy can be achieved in the near term of five years or less.”

This remarkable and dramatic conviction drives organizations like FightSMA to increase efforts to secure higher levels
of funding than are currently in place and is the defining coordinates for the FightSMA research strategy.

It is the fervent hope of all children fighting SMA and of the parents, families, and friends of those children that more individuals will learn of this fight and support it with all the financial assistance they possibly can. It is a worthy and noble fight. And a victory is near.

Organizational Background and Supporting Documents

Andrew’s Buddies Corporation (FightSMA) is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt nonprofit, nonstock corporation chartered on October 28, 1991 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Andrew’s Buddies Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors, a group which operates according to the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws adopted by the Board of Directors on November 23, 1991. Andrew’s Buddies Corporation is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

The organization is audited on an annual basis by an independent CPA firm, Wells, Coleman & Company, L.L.P. A copy of the audited statements can be made available upon request.

Andrew’s Buddies Corporation files annually with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Office of Consumer Affairs. Information about Andrew’s Buddies Corporation is available through GuideStar.