Dear Friends and Family,
This is my best friend Rachel. We met our 2nd year in college and have been by each others side ever since we left college. As 17 years have gone by she has definitely been there to support me through many happy and sad times in my life. The worst day of my life was when my Dad passed away from cancer on Oct 22, 2000. Rachel was by my side every day just knowing just what to say. I was always thankful for her and always knew I would want to be there for her as she was for me if she ever needed it.
On April 21st, 2008 she called me crying and I thought ok it's my turn to be the supportive best friend. It was one day before her daughter Zoe's 3rd birthday. Zoe had some genetic testing done and the pediatrician called and diagnosed Zoe with Rett Syndrome. I was speechless.
Rett Syndrome is a childhood neurological disorder that affects 1 in every 10,000 girls. Most girls live in wheelchairs, have seizures, almost no purposeful use of their hands, are unable to speak, and have feeding tubes. As I read more I realized this was something she would live with every day and not really knowing how the disorder would progress for Zoe.
Zoe is now 6 years old and considered one of the 'lucky ones". She currently walks, and has some use of her hands. Her biggest challenge is that she is unable to speak. For someone who is 6 years old this is a tremendous handicap. Zoe cannot express what she is feeling, cannot tell anyone when she is in pain, what she wants to eat, drink, play with or watch on tv. Zoe is unable to do any self care and requires 24hr assistance.
Rachel and I decided to run the Fairfield Half Marathon in support of Zoe and to help promote awareness about Rett syndrome. I will run thinking of the daily strength and courage my best friend Rachel endures as she awaits a cure for Zoe.
So now for some good news.....Rett Syndrome has been reversed in a mouse model. Scientists are making amazing strides in their research and we truly believe Rett Syndrome will become the first reversible neurological disorder. Rett Syndrome is grossly underfunded. The charity I am running for is Rett Syndrome Research Trust - www.RSRT.org. 96% of every dollar donated goes directly towards researching a cure for Zoe and the thousands of other girls who suffer from Rett Syndrome each day.
Many thanks for your support and don’t forget to forward this to anyone who might want to support Team Zoe.