MDA Muscle Walk in Tempe helps fund research

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2017 MDA Muscle Walk in Tempe. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) 2017 MDA Muscle Walk in Tempe. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Angel Wolff (left), Madi Wolff, 3TV's April Warnecke (right) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Angel Wolff (left), Madi Wolff, 3TV's April Warnecke (right) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Madi Wollf (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Madi Wollf (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Mary Heisler (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mary Heisler (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hundreds of people laced up their walking shoes for a good cause in Tempe Saturday morning.

It was the annual MDA Muscle Walk of Greater Phoenix Area at Tempe Beach Park.

The walk got underway at 10 a.m.

Supporters have raised more than $99,000 to help fund research, treatments and support. The goal is more than $155,000.

3TV's April Warnecke hosted the walk.

Excitement hasn't worn off since the FDA announced in late December approval for nusinersen (Spinraza), the first disease-modifying drug to treat the most common genetic cause of death in infants.

Approval of the drug, which will treat kids and adults with all forms of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) caused by a deficiency of SMN protein, marks an historic achievement for the entire SMA community.

"It's amazing you can get that kind of relief," said Madi Wolff, one of those at Saturday's walk.

FDA approval of Spinraza marks a second major proof point of MDA's research program in recent months. Exondys 51 in September 2016 became the first disease-modifying drug approved by the FDA to treat another of the diseases in MDA's program, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

"The drug that was in clinic trial has shown a lot of improvement in kids. We're waiting to see when we can start that drug in Madi and other kids,'" Angel Wolff said.

The approvals for the drugs mark a significant step forward in the development of therapies for neuromuscular diseases.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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