The National Junior Honor Society at Alfred G. Waters Middle School is spending the month raising awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
During the summer of 2012 their friend and fellow classmate, Brandon Stewart, passed away from the disease, which causes muscles to weaken and waste away.
Brandon was an 8th grader at the school.
The NJHS, with teacher Amy Brown, has planned a month of awareness-building and fundraising activities that will support research for a cure, said Appoquinimink spokeswoman Lilian Miles.
The month will end with a dodge ball tournament Jan. 31 to benefit SMA, where A. G. Waters students will play against each other in an effort to continue to raise month.
Each game will be played as best out of three.
Student teams of six can register for $10. The price to watch is $2 and $1 snacks will be on sale.
All of the proceeds from that night will benefit SMA.
SMA affects muscles throughout the body and may affect their feeding, swallowing, and respiratory functions, such as breathing and coughing.
On Jan. 3 guest speaker FSMA Delaware & South Jersey Chapter President Jessica Moyer gave a presentation to the middle school students on SMA and until Jan. 16 tee-shirts reading "Tackle SMA" will be on sale.
On Jan. 15, students will hold a fundraiser night at Jake's Wayback Burger in Middletown where 20 percent of profits will go towards their cause.
SMA is a rare disorder and occurs is about every eight out of 100,000 live births and affects every one out of 10,000 individuals worldwide.