Happy Holidays from AHCF!

Dear AHC Friends & Families,

On behalf of the Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Foundation Board of Directors, we wish you and your family a very happy holiday. It was another great year for the AHCF and we are appreciative for everything you did to make it happen.
Whether you traveled to San Francisco for the Family Meeting, conducted local fundraising events, or spoke proudly to co-workers and friends about the foundation; you helped the foundation move forward with such great success.

This year, we were thrilled to share with you the news of a new discovery for AHC patients.  Identifying the ATP1A3 gene as a cause of AHC for over a majority of our patients was an achievement the foundation waited 17 years to realize.  In addition, we were particularly proud of those families without this specific gene mutation who continued to raise funds to help find the remaining contributory genes.

Another success story for the foundation this year was the awarding of two important research grants. The first grant was for $95,000 and awarded to Dr. Alfred George and Dr. Kevin Ess at Vanderbilt University. They are investigating the functional consequences of AHC gene mutations to identify drugs or drug-like compounds with potential therapeutic effects in restoring normal gene function. The second grant was for $51,625 and awarded to Dr. Kathryn Swoboda and her research team at the University of Utah. They are working to identify additional causative gene(s) in patients without mutations in the ATP1A3 gene.

As this year comes to a close, we are thankful to the researchers at Duke University and the University of Chicago for their pursuit of research focusing on AHC.  We hope to have great success raising funds in 2013 which will allow us to fund even more grants.  We are also appreciative of the professionals whom serve on our Medical Advisory Board. They too, contribute to the advancement of AHC and ultimately, to the success of the foundation.

For all that you do to support the AHCF with your time, talents and treasure – thank you. We know that there are many deserving causes to support and greatly appreciate you keeping the AHCF so close to your heart. Let us go into 2013 with excitement and optimism for another great year for the AHC community.

With Warm Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year,

The AHCF Board of Directors

Gene Andrasco, Sharon Ciccodicola, Cate Cohen, Lynn Egan, Mollie Erpenbeck, Dr. Joe George, Bill Gerber, Doug Morris, Vicky Platt, Carol Presunka, Mary Kay Riley, Suzanne Roberts

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