CENTEREACH - A Centereach family is raising money to buy a wheelchair-accessible van for their two children diagnosed with the same disease.
As News 12 has reported over the years, brothers Nicholas and Tyler Accardi, ages 3 and 4 respectively, have spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. It's a degenerative disease that affects voluntary muscle movements.
The boys will never be able to walk, and they partake in daily therapies just to maintain their muscles. Their power wheelchairs are their means of mobility and freedom.
"They're typical toddlers, they just want to play," said mother Toniann Accardi. "They're in their power chairs and say, 'look mom, I'm running around.'"
For the past two years, fundraisers have helped the family widen their driveway and build a ramp for the home. They hope to raise enough money to purchase a much-needed van to transport the children more easily.
The fundraiser is being held at Villa Lombardi's in Holbrook on Aug. 30. A GoFundMe page has also been created for online donations.