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Tucson man hopeful to walk for the first time

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 17:03:17-04

Noah Spencer, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at just 13-months-old, is hoping for a miracle.

A new drug may give Spencer the chance to walk for the first time. 

Spencer received a phone call he had long been waiting for back in January.

His doctor, Katalin Scherer at University Medical Center told him about the new drug called Spinraza that may help him walk again. 

"It's a good feeling you know," said Spencer. 

SMA affects the physical strength of those diagnosed and takes away the ability to walk, eat and breathe away. 

Spinraza helps patients sit-up and stand up. 

While doctors say it will take a long time for Spencer to walk again with the new treatment, the now 18-year-old says he is feeling hopeful. 

"I just hope that I will be able to walk on my own."

He was the first adult in Arizona to undergo treatment and says he is starting to feel the difference. 

"I can definitely flex my arms better."

Walking again isn't promised, but Spencer believes that this treatment is the first step to help others like him. 

Noah says this drug can help other kids

"It will help them a lot, it's helping me right now," said Spencer. "I've had progression muscle movement in my arms."

UMC is currently the only hospital in Southern Arizona offering the new drug. 

Spencer will receive seven more doses in 2017 and a dose every three to four months for the rest of his life.