(08/25/13) - A Flushing boy is defying the odds simply by being alive, and local people are coming together to make his life a little easier.
Ben Grindle was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 1, when he was born. The disorder affects about 1 in 6,000 children. Most never reach age 2.
Sunday, Ben's parents celebrated his 3-and-a-half year birthday with a luau party.
"We started having a half birthday for his first one, because we didn't know if he'd have a first birthday," says Ben's dad, Jason.
The party is designed to raise money for SMA research, as well as raise money for a new van that's big enough to hold all the equipment Ben needs to get by. Ben will likely never walk, sit, or move his head on his own. The disorder, however, does not affect his ability to think.
"He's as smart as any other 3-year-old," Jason said.
If you would like to learn more about Ben and SMA, please click HERE.