A thrilling moment occurred for many whom support the non-profit, Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST). They were able to raise over one million dollars for research in order to help those affected by Angelman Syndrome (AS) - - in less than an hour. Angelman Syndrome is a rare neuro-genetic disorder, affecting one in 15,000. Oftentimes the syndrome can be misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy. Those affected often have seizures and are unable to speak more than several words, if at all. They need constant care, therapy and supervision for their lifetime. However, they are often overly happy and have a sweet, loving demeanor.
Over the past decade, profound advancements made in AS research have made it possible to realize a therapeutic is eminent. That's why FAST has hit the ground running and have inspired scientists from research teams, universities and pharmaceutical companies to team up with FAST. They hope to start another clinical trial involving gene therapy within the next two years.
Something magical occurred for all those associated with Angelman Syndrome recently. During the 2016 FAST Gala, a Paddle Call was conducted. Within an hour, $1,124,000 had been raised in an amazing demonstration of hope. One Million Dollars! Paddle after paddle was lifted up by determined loved ones, research teams, business partners and even celebrities. There was not a dry eye in the room. Raising a million dollars for AS within an hour is a first for FAST. Since they have been getting so close to a real treatment working with the bits and pieces they had, it really lights a fire under everyone involved.
The FAST Gala occurs annually in Chicago usually on the first Saturday in December. Several hundred "Angelman Parents" attend from all over the world. There are also many celebrities who attend, such as the Guest of Honor, Colin Farrell. This year, Colin was accompanied by Hollywood stars, Jai Courtney, Josh Peck, Retta, Zachary Levi and Jesse Lee Soffer. The event is important for those who connect with each other at the event in Chicago because they all love someone who lives with Angelman Syndrome. This year proved to be the best year yet, as FAST looks forward for the cure.