{35K4SMA} The Craziness Begins

First off; if you’re going to post that you’ve got an exciting announcement coming you should realize two things. 1. People will assume its much cooler and greater than what you’re actually going to do. 2. Your parents should be notified first so they don’t freak out and expect some horrible bombshell. (Sorry mom!)

So what’s this big announcement?? Will it explain the slew of letters tossed together next to the title of the post?? It will!

In honor of my upcoming 35th birthday, and despite a painful aversion to physical exertion, I’m going to run seven 5Ks to raise money and awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Since Fulton’s diagnosis, our family has been blessed many times over by friends and family. Through their generous donations of time and money, we’ve modified the house, bought equipment, paid bills and so much more. No matter what the future may hold, we’re surrounded by a loving community ready to step up and do whatever it takes. But not every family raising a child, or children, with SMA is as lucky. That’s why I feel like now, it’s my time to pay it forward and spread the love that has been so generously bestowed upon us.

There are many wonderful charities out there that help the SMA community, but I manged to narrow it down to four that will share all the proceeds.

SMA It Forward – SMA It Forward founder Cashel, and his sister Allie, both have SMA. They are raising money for a handicap van. I know first hand how hard it is to find a vehicle to comfortably fit two wheelchairs. And if anyone deserves a sweet new ride, it’s Cashel. His website and Facebook page are filled with positive and uplifting stories and reflections; proof that SMA cannot touch the heart and soul of those affected.

These charities all donate money directly to families overwhelmed by the costs of raising a child with SMA, in addition to supporting research:

Unite 4 Peyton

Marshall’s Miles

The Getty Owl Foundation

SMA Logo_tshirt FRONT
Thanks to my good friend Loretta for this great logo.

The goal is to complete the runs within six to nine months (barring any sudden parasitic attacks.) My first run will be the Graffiti Run in Camden, NJ on August 17. Are you runner? Want to join me? Please do. I’m terrified as I still haven’t even finished my Couch to 5K ap.

Check my ’35K For SMA’ page to see where I’ll be running next. It’s a lot of fun runs, because honestly, I hate running too much to do a hardcore race. Plus, I wouldn’t want inadvertently steal any thunder from a race for breast cancer, autism, etc. In addition, fun runs usually have a built-in social aspect following the race. It’ll be the perfect time to talk with people about SMA; most of whom will never have heard of it.

If you’re not local, you can still join me by purchasing one of my sweet t-shirts (or busting out the puff paints), downloading a donation form and running in a race near you. Don’t feel qualified to talk to people about SMA? Read my post “Seven Things You Should Know About SMA” for some pointers, or just send people here; I’ll take care of them. You can track the donations here (to make sure I received your money and because my husband says I should be very transparent about things.) Donations can be made via PayPal to fatface78(at)yahoo.com or by check, made out to Kelly Mantoan and sent out snail mail. (Contact me for a mailing address.)

Eventually I hope to take Fulton on some races with me but right now, while I’m still questioning my sanity and trying to sort out all the details, I’m flying solo. His 75 + pound stroller also has a lot to do with it.

So does this mean I’m going to keep hitting you up for money? TOTALLY! But the good thing is, 35K4SMA is ongoing, so if this month is tight, send something when it’s not. Plus, you can be assured that this endeavor will provide me with tons of hilarious blog post material. If anyone is likely to pass out four feet from the finish line or take a color blast straight to the eye at a Graffiti Run, you know it’s me. Plus, your shares and tweets can help get the word out this month, which just happens to be Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month. A social media shout out is just as happily accepted!

I’m sorry if you were hoping for a reality show announcement or something, though watching me run would be pretty hilarious (think zombie shuffle in fast motion.) Stay tuned for constant updates of my growing aches and pains!


  1. I’ve committed to walking/limping/crawling two races this fall so I’m out in that respect. My blog, Facebook, and Twitter, however, are at your disposal. I will also send you lovely pictures of me holding up signs cheering you on.

    1. Consider yourself committed to sending me at least one photo of you with an awesome homemade sign.

  2. Yards brewery does a 5k Running tour of Philly. Not technically a race, but it is a 5k run that ends at a brewery so that’s a win in my book. I think it is this Saturday.

    1. I feel like next Saturday is too soon, so a 5K on this Saturday would most definitely kill me. Let me know if you run something fun out your way and maybe I’ll make the trip!

  3. I’m in after the back2skl madness is over…supporting you that is! and you should make or some talented person could make for you….a quilt from all your race shirts with the 35K4SMA shirt as a centerpiece…just brainstorming here, but FANTASTIC idea!!!

    1. I made my husband a t-shirt quilt once….and it took more than a year. I might be able to manage multiple throw pillows. Or if I could sew them into one awesome dress for Mass that would be ideal.

  4. Awesome!!!! You are such an inspiration Kelly! Will def be sending some.money your way 🙂

  5. I just donated directly to Cashel’s site. one look and my fingers were on Paypal!

    1. Thank you Beth! Certainly, if people are more comfortable donating directly to one of the four charities I chose, I hope they do that!

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