Ben's family has helped to raise money for SMA research by creating "Team Ben" and "Team Ben Racing." Funds raised help to support gene therapy research and to provide children with SMA with adapted toys and iPads.
"Whether it's going to be his savior or it's going to be another child that hasn't even been born yet, that could save them. That's all you can hope for," said Jason, Ben's father.
While Ben's family hopes for a cure, they aren't sitting home waiting. They've taken Ben to Disney World, a Tiger's game, run a 5K with him, and even gone camping as a family.
"We take him everywhere we can," said Jason.
"We want him to experience life," said T.J., "We want him to have fun and make friends and do all of the things that a three-year-old would do. And then some."
But that's becoming more challenging. Ben has to lay flat to travel, and as he's grown, the space in their specially-equipped van has become too tight.
"Our goal is to get a bigger van, so he's able to fit safely and comfortably in there," said Jason.
Ben will start preschool in the fall, another milestone they feared he might never reach.
"We're so thankful for the fighter that he is," said Jason. "It's his will that has gotten him to where he is. He's not done. He's got a lot more life to live."
The Grindle family is having a luau-themed fundraiser in honor of Ben's 3 1/2 year-old birthday on Sunday, August 25th at the Flushing County Park from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. The address is 4417 N. McKinley Road in Flushing. There will be bounce houses, face painting, games and more. For more information, click here. If you can't attend, but would like to donate to Ben's van fund, click here. If they're able to raise enough money to get a larger van, the Grindle family wants to donate their current van to another family who can't afford one for their child with SMA.
To learn more about SMA, click here.
To find out more about SMA research at the Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital, click here.