Roswell Writer Talks About Son’s Illness (SMA)

By • Mar 1st, 2002 • Category: Crashdown Exclusive, Garrett Lerner

As a result of the current “Lunch with the Roswell Writers” and set visit auction, Roswell writer and co-producer Garrett Lerner has received a lot of letters asking about the charity the auction benefits. Roswell fans have expressed an interest in learning more about this disease and have asked how they can help the charity. Here’s the message from Garrett:

My son Zeke, now 20 months old, was recently diagnosed with SMA. He was a happy, healthy baby who suddenly lost the ability to stand (even holding on) around 9 or 10 months of age. We were terrified, knowing something was wrong, but none of his doctors could figure it out. Zeke’s legs became progressively weaker and weaker until he could barely even lift them off the ground while lying on his back. Crawling became a struggle, and he is unable to get around much. After seeing several specialists, Zeke was finally diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy that neither my wife nor I had ever even heard of (the diagnosis came during the time my partner Russel and I were writing Behind the Music). In the months since, I have unwittingly become an expert in this horrible disease — it causes children to get progressively weaker and weaker, taking away their ability to move, later taking their ability to eat and swallow, and finally robbing them of their ability to breathe. Currently, doctors have no treatment and no cure.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Researchers have unlocked the key to curing this terrible disease. They have finally discovered that the child’s body is unable to produce a specific protein that causes the muscles to atrophy and die. They believe that with this recent discovery, they will be able to find a drug that will replace the missing protein and help eliminate the disease in the very near future. That’s the great thing about this charity. The doctors are very close, and every dollar will help bring the cure that much closer.

The reason I hope you will post this on the crashdown website is because I have seen the Roswell fans in action. Your ability to organize, to unite, and to perform great acts of kindness (including all the charitable fundraisers and saving our show year after year) is absolutely remarkable. You, the Roswell fans, are a special group of people.

To learn more about the disease, go to the website fsma.org. To make a donation, click here…
Help Us find a cure for SMA. Or contact the Executive Director of FSMA, Audrey Lewis at audrey@fsma.org.

Thank you so much for helping to spread the word.

Sincerely,

Garrett Lerner
Co-Producer, Roswell

P.S. I have attached a picture of Zeke. You can see what a special child he is.

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