Pikeville preps for 2nd annual Bentley's Smiles for Miles 5K - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pikeville preps for 2nd annual Bentley's Smiles for Miles 5K

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COUNTY - Bledsoe COUNTY - Bledsoe

PIKEVILLE, TN (WRCB)  -- Bledsoe County's seat of Pikeville is readying for Saturday's 2nd Annual Bentley's Smiles for Miles 5K run, held in honor of a local toddler who died from SMA at just 18 months old.

Bentley Bassamore's life was cut short by the debilitating genetic disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in late 2007.

Bentley's mother, Carie Whitaker, last year volunteered to host the inaugural event to raise awareness and funds for the now, incurable disease that claimed her son's life.

" SMA is the number one genetic cause of death in infants and before my son was born I had never heard of the disease," admitted Whitaker. "Our goal in hosting this race each year is to honor Bentley legacy, to help fund research and to educate the public about something that has a tremendous affect on so many people, yet so little is being done to combat this disease."                                                                                                                                           

SMA debilitates physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe.                                   

Approximately 1 in 10,000 infants are affected but 1 in every 50 Americans is a genetic carrier for SMA.                                                                               
Saturday's run is set to begin at 8 am CST at the Main Street Stage in Pikeville.

For more information as to registering, creating a team or volunteering, you can click on www.events.curesma.org



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