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LIMESTONE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Limestone County teenager with a rare progressive neuromuscular disease is getting treatment for the first time in his life thanks to an important scientific advancement, a newly FDA-approved drug.

Athens teenager Logan Byrd has been living with spinal muscular atrophy his entire life and has only been able to get treatment in the past six months.

“I was diagnosed with SMA when I was two and I’ve been using a wheelchair since I was four,” says Logan Byrd.

The FDA approved the company Genentech’s medication Evrysdi as the first at-home treatment for spinal muscular atrophy during the pandemic when access to treatment lacked. Now people like Logan Byrd have a treatment option available at their own home.

“The only other possible treatment was spinal cord injections which is very risky, obviously,” says Byrd.

SMA is a severe progressive neuromuscular disease that weakens the muscles. Logan had little to no treatment as a child and was wheelchair-bound at 4 years old. But he’s now in college and has big goals and dreams.

“It’s been difficult over the years, no doubt. Having to deal with treatment over the years.. and certain things weren’t accessible, but being able to have something that will help me further my education and be able to help others I think is really a blessing,” says Byrd.

Logan is a freshman in college at Calhoun studying engineering design technology. Logan hopes to be able to graduate college with his degree in engineering design technology and put it to use helping communities around the world by designing places of worship for construction.