About Our SMA Angels

I have received several e-mails asking me where Our SMA Angels came from-who is involved and how it got started. So I thought I would dedicate a page to tell you the origins of Our SMA Angels.

My name is Laura Stants, and up to 1995 I had never even touched a computer beyond Word Processing. Then in the fall of 1998, my four month old son Devon was diagnosed with a terminal illness-Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I. The doctors had to look it up in a book. No-one had ever heard of it or what I was supposed to do about it. So I hit the greatest invention to date: the Internet! In my searches I found a lot of medical information-but that's it. I only found one page of a family in a similar situation as ours, but other than that, very little personal information. The medical information helped me a great deal understanding the disease, but it didn't help my spirit. We felt completely alone out there with a disease that nobody had ever even heard of. I found a guestbook to write in on, and that helped a great deal.

Then one day my husband said "Why don't you make a website for Devon?" So I started the process of learning website design by trial and error. The next step was "What do you think of starting a place where anyone with a child with SMA can have a website?" I thought that was a darned good idea! One place where people could go to not just get medical information, but actually MEET other children, other families-see pictures, read stories, get to know each other-all the stuff I could not find on my initial search for help with SMA. So I went to the guestbook I was "chatting" on, and asked that if anyone was interested in a website for their child, to let me know. I ended up with 6 other people who were interested. I told them they'd have to design their own sites because I didn't really know how. We voted on and came up with a name: our-sma-angels.com, and thus the site was born.

It has only been a short time since the inception of Our SMA Angels, yet so much has changed. My son Devon has been gone for awhile now, and his little brother Sidney joined him only two months after he died. Our SMA Angels has gone from the original 4 or 5 sites that initially ended up starting to now having over 125! As time passed I got a bit better at putting sites together and creating my own graphics and that has helped tremendously in allowing people who don't know how to do websites to be able to have one of their own anyway.

There is no charge to any parent of a child with SMA to have a site. A parent can either design the site themselves or I will be happy to do it for them.

All sites are graciously hosted by Cscape.

As time passes, I am sure we will continue to grow and provide more websites for more children and parents involved in SMA. Our greatest hope is that a short time from now these sites will be both memorials to these young heroes who have already lost their fight to SMA, as well as celebrations of miracles when our children are cured from this disease once and for all.

Join us in the fight!