Three-year-old Cooper Somers loves cars and dinosaurs, and playing ball outside with neighborhood kids. He lives with his mom, Crystal, in Houston, Texas.
Life has been far from easy for the Somers family. Early on, Crystal noticed that Cooper couldn’t move as fast as other kids his age. He had very weak muscle tone and missed a lot of developmental milestones.
In 2011, Cooper received a diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic killer of infants and toddlers around the world. SMA is a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement.
A year later, in December 2012, Cooper’s father and Crystal’s loving husband, Jason, passed away in a tragic car accident after visiting Cooper in the hospital.
Today, Cooper is beating the SMA odds. He attends MDA clinic, which Crystal says has been a vital part of their lives with time-efficient "one-stop shopping" that allows them to see all of Cooper's doctors and experts in one location.
Cooper is a sweet, outgoing boy with a kind heart, Crystal says, nothing that the two value more than their time together and like to go on “dates.” He’s a smart, vivacious little boy with a loving spirit, who inspires everyone he meets, and he’s the light of Crystal’s life.