The International Rett Syndrome Foundation will host its fifth annual St. Louis Strollathon on Sat., May 5 with registration starting at 9 a.m. and the walk beginning at 10 a.m. The one-mile family-friendly stroll, which will be held at Tilles Park’s Gloria Rodgers Shelter located at 9551 Litzsinger Rd. in Ladue, includes a visit from Fredbird, entertainment and food. All proceeds will benefit Rett Syndrome research.
Each year’s event has had 500+ participants, and more than $250,000 total has been raised for the past four walks. Last year a record 20 Strollathons took place throughout the country and raised $1 million for the foundation, making the fundraising effort’s grand total of nearly $7 million nationwide for research.
Rett Syndrome (RTT), a genetic neurological disorder that occurs mainly in girls, affects more than 200,000 females worldwide. RTT strikes in early childhood and results in a regression leading to lifelong impairments including speech loss, hand use and mobility. RTT is often misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy and has no cure.
The gene that causes RTT was discovered in 1999 and, in 2007, research proved the theory of reversibility in mice. Human clinical trials began in Boston in 2010 to improve and possibly reverse the disorder’s progression.
A $5 million “Research to Reality” campaign is being chaired by country singer Clint Black, who lost his niece to RTT. This campaign is designed to accelerate research progress. The Pioneer Fund of Colorado has offered a lead campaign gift of $1 million in a matching gift challenge.
The World Rett Syndrome Congress will be hosted in the U.S. for the first time ever this summer in New Orleans. This prestigious global meeting will be attended by the world’s leading researchers, clinicians and educators.
Donations are appreciated. For more information, call Strollathon chair Joyce Opinsky at (314) 878-0868, e-mail her at email@example.com, or visit the organization’s web site at www.rettsyndrome.org.