Oakville student named MDA state ambassador


Sophia Martino, an 18-year-old Oakville High School student, has been selected as state ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
As the new state ambassador, Sophia will make public appearances throughout the state, representing children and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related life-threatening diseases that severely weaken muscle strength and mobility in Missouri.
In her new role, she will be essential in motivating the public to support MDA’s mission by donating funds and raising awareness to help provide families with life-saving resources and support that will open new possibilities — so that individuals just like her can live longer and grow stronger, according to a news release.
Sophia was diagnosed with Spinal Mus-cular Atrophy, or SMA, at the age of 1. SMA is one of the muscle diseases covered by MDA’s research and care programs. SMA is a genetic disorder that involves the loss of muscle-controlling nerve cells, called motor neurons, in the spinal cord. In SMA, the muscles fail to receive the necessary signals from the nerves.
At Oakville High, Sophia’s favorite subjects are psychology and English. She is involved in Choir and Chorale and is a Girl Scout. She attends the St. Louis MDA Care Center and is a recent MDA Summer Camp graduate.
She has participated in many, many different MDA events such as the Telethon and Muscle Walk. Sophia has visited many sponsors and even hosted a few fundraising events for the MDA.
She surrounds herself with a wonderful family, great friends and supporters who encourage her to live her best life. She likes to “live unlimited” — this means living up to her best potential and not letting anything get in her way, the release stated.