On October 14, Team Laura is riding to cure Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a debilitating, life shortening neuromuscular disease. I was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia twenty years ago when I was 11. Having this disease has completely changed the course of my life. Despite graduating from Berry College, the progression of my disease has kept me from pursuing a career.
Friedreich's Ataxia is a genetic and progressive disease, which effects all muscle groups (including the heart), debilitating strength, coordination, and balance. People with this disease slowly lose their ability to walk, talk, hear, and see. The life-shortening progression of FA is very different depending on the individual and age of onset of symptoms. I have met too many children and adults with FA that have become too physically dependent on others to lead full lives, limiting relationships and future opportunities.
The gene for FA was discovered in 1998. That same year the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance was founded to help allot funds specifically for FA research and study grants. Since then, an explosion of interest from researchers and pharmaceutical companies has jump-started the pursuit to finding treatments and ultimately a cure.
Beginning 7 years ago, the Friedreich's Ataxia Symposium has coincided with one of the largest grassroots fund raising events called the Philly Ride Ataxia. Last year Team Laura raised $39,454 and cumulatively over $300,000 for Team Laura participation in rideAtaxia events. I am asking for your support to join us in supporting the urgent pace of FA research. Please donate. Together we will cure FA.