Michele and Matt Higgins' Fundraiser:

Can low cholesterol cause autism?

THE STORY:

SEARCHING for answers about what was happening in our little girl's body to cause AUTISM, Michele couldn't sleep. It always seemed like there was an entire parallel universe inside Collette, but we just couldn't reach it.  So late one night last March, Michele dug up an old lab report, and line by line, began googling each obscure acronym. Nothing out of the ordinary until she came across this: 

Total cholesterol: 105

Collette's CHOLESTEROL level was at the BOTTOM of the entire population, and no one had noticed...

Matt, Michele and her sister Megan Guinnessey are running this year's New York City MARATHON to raise awareness and funding for emerging research that cholesterol may be a MISSING PIECE of the autism puzzle -- research that may help our daughter Collette. She is one of THOUSANDS of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who were recently found to have abnormally low cholesterol levels. We all know that too much cholesterol in an adult can lead to poor health; the opposite is also true. In a developing child, the body’s ability to produce sufficient cholesterol is VITAL to proper BRAIN functioning and overall health.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics found that in subjects who came from families with two children on the autism spectrum, 19% of those children had abnormally low cholesterol levels (hypocholesterolemia) - ten times the rate in the general population. Other data suggests that as many as 5 PERCENT of all children with ASD have abnormally low cholesterol levels (hypocholesterolemia), leading researchers to believe that cholesterol deficiency may play a major role in some cases of the disorder.  With 35,000 kids diagnosed with autism each year in the United States, you can imagine the far-reach IMPACT this research could have on the lives of countless children.

Under the loving care of Dr. Elaine Tierney at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore we have been SUPPLEMENTING Collette's diet with synthetic cholesterol and have seen dramatic IMPROVEMENTS in her eye contact, mood and sleep patterns.

Dr. Tierney -- along with a team at the National Institute of Health and Ohio State -- is in the process of conducting a clinical trial to determine if in fact cholesterol supplementation alleviates autism symptoms in these children. Your SUPPORT will go directly to this RESEARCH study-- and accelerate the process of finding ANSWERS for children who fall into this subgroup, like our little Collette.

Thanks for visiting our Crowdrise site!

RESOURCES

 

Or contact: 

Dr. Elaine Teirney

TierneyResearch@kennedykrieger.org

(443 923 7613)  

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$28,815

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The Team: $28,815 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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Michele and Matt Higgins

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Donor Comments

Margaret & Ray Mass

Margaret & Ray Mass

3 years ago

Randy Horowitz

Randy Horowitz

Glad to hear Collette is doing well in her new school! Have a GREAT run!! Enjoy every mile!! xo 3 years ago

Robin & Jim Fitzmaurice

Robin & Jim Fitzmaurice

3 years ago

The Tannenbaum Family

The Tannenbaum Family

We love and support you guys! 3 years ago

Ben + Nick Sheely

Ben + Nick Sheely

GO MATT AND MICHELE! With you two on the case, I bet good things happen - Best 3 years ago