Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Untitled - Brad Chidester

Brad was an accomplished artist and received MDA's Personal Achievement Award for Utah in 1993.  He also was a graphic artist who designed logos for Murray City, Utah, and several companies.

The Garden

Sarah created this artwork at age 9.  She’s active in power soccer and church groups.  Sarah is attending Maryville University in St. Louis.  She served as the MDA 2001 National Goodwill Ambassador.

The Unforgettable Fire

Elsha created this artwork after the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and Washington to be used as awards for local fire departments throughout Utah.  She graduated first in her class from Northridge High School in Layton.  Elsha is no longer able to paint due to weakness in her arms. Previously, she would lie on her side, using her left arm to support her right arm and hand as she painted.

This Baby Shines

Craig created his artwork at age 17.  In 2004 he received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University where he began painting on canvas.  Craig is active in theatre groups, singing and a car club.

The Birthday Tree

Sarah, who served as the MDA 2001 National Goodwill Ambassador, created this artwork at age 7.  She’s active in power soccer and church groups.  Sarah is attending Maryville University in St. Louis.   This artwork was featured in the 2001 Holiday Wishes card collection.

Summer Camp


Amanda created this artwork at age 13 while attending an MDA summer camp. At that time, her hobbies included swimming and music.

STS 63 and Me


Ken experienced the STS-63 Discovery space shuttle night launch on February 3, 1995.  This artwork began as a photograph that was digitally enhanced to express the stages of space flights as they move heavenward.  Ken received the 1994 State Personal Achievement Award for Illinois and is a former member of MDA’s National Task Force on Public Awareness.

Stars Over Harbor

Kenneth created artwork for more than 25 years.  He taped his paintbrush to his fingers and developed a unique method of painting.  Kenneth used Velcro and clamps to hold his paper or canvas onto a lazy Susan which then turned as he painted.

Snow Owl


Karen received a master’s degree in art from California State University, Fullerton, with an emphasis in illustration.  She has exhibited her work in Las Vegas galleries and has collectors around the world.  Karen's favorite subjects are animals, and she hides a rose in every painting.  The rose represents Karen.  She selected it as an object that is easily accepted by others.

Smokey Mountains of East Tennessee


Ashley began painting seriously in 1982.  His artwork has been exhibited in many galleries in Tennessee, including the Parthenon Gallery in Nashville.