When 1-year-old Alyssa Krider would continually fall while scooting along the living room couch, family and friends thought she was just being cute, looking for attention.
However, it did not sit right with her grandmother, Connie, who noticed that Alyssa was deliberately not putting weight on her legs.
She urged that her granddaughter be seen by a doctor.
After three months of X-rays and medical tests, doctors diagnosed Alyssa with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a motor neuron disease which affects the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control and swallowing. According to the website, Families With SMA, approximately one in 6,000 babies born are affected, and about one in 40 people are genetic carriers.
That was 10 years ago. Now, Alyssa is a healthy, vibrant and active 10-year-old in Newburg. Because of her condition, she has lived her short life confined to a wheelchair. However, she is quickly outgrowing it and, along with that, has outgrown her family's vehicle.
This Saturday Sept. 14, the Doolittle Lions Club is hosting the Wheels for Alyssa benefit at the Rolla Moose Lodge.
Roy Stevenson has been one of the key organizers behind the event.
"You never see Alyssa without a smile on her face," said Stevenson. "We really love her. When you meet her, she just touches your heart."
The event which kicks off at 1 p.m. will feature live music from Clifty Creek Bluegrass Band, Rosa String Works and others. There will be a silent auction as well as a gun raffle and a barbecue dinner.
Stevenson said the hope is to raise $10,000 to $12,000 for a used wheelchair accessible van.
For more information, contact Kevin Olsen at 573 529-2887 or visit the Wheels for Alyssa Facebook page.