Hundreds walk to raise awareness for spina bifida

Hundreds walk to raise awareness for spina bifida

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PHOENIX -

Spina bifida affects one out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States.

While it is a cause that might not get as much attention other disabilities, hundreds tried to change that Saturday morning.

"I'm going to walk and I'm going to run," says Stevan Rodriguez, who's supporting his cousin with spina bifida.

There are plenty who will roll their way through the 4th Annual Spina Bifida Walk 'N Roll at Steele Indian School Park.

You might remember 11-year-old Owen Smyser, who wanted more than anything to raise enough money so he could get a service dog. $11,000 later, Vito might just be that companion.

"Funds raised can help benefit kids with spina bifida with service dogs and hand bikes," says Owen Smyser of "Team Owen."

Dave Martin was born with spina bifida. He says the condition, which is Latin for split spine, can have an impact from complete paralysis to requiring assistance with a cane to walk. And it's not a well-known condition for families not directly connected.

"We want to get awareness out there to help so it doesn't happen again and if we can decrease the chance of having spina bifida kids by 70 percent, I want to do it," says Martin, part of the Arizona Spina Bifida Association.

"For these kids who have these struggles, they go through day to day and they still truck on and stay positive, I mean they're motivating for me."

"It's about raising money for spina bifida, helps out a lot of people," says Gabriel Scanlan.

Like most of these kids, Gabriel Scanlan would love to just be a kid and talk about movies and superheroes.

"I like when Bruce Banner turns into the hulk and he turns all mad," says Scanlan.

He's hoping that will a little more attention, education, funding and even just adding folic acid to the diet, small things could make a big difference.

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