Fara 5K: Raising Money for Freidreich Ataxia

Recently, hundreds of people celebrated the 12th Annual Fara 5k in Providence, Rhode Island. This race was organized over a decade ago in an effort to raise money for Friedreich ataxia (FA), a rare neurological disease that impacts over 5,000 people in the United States.

About the 5k

Emceed by the chief meteorologist, Tony Petrarca, and news anchor, Mike Montecalvo, of WPRI 12 News, this race was held at Rhode Island College (RIC). It was the twelfth time that the community showed up to support FA patients. The goal of the race is to raise both money and awareness, which seems to have been accomplished. The day racked up $120,000 in funds and donations.

While this event is special every year, this year’s 5k held even more meaning to 12 News. Mike Dilorio, who used to work as an intern at the station, passed away this year after living with FA for decades.

The race is put on by Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, and you can learn more about it here.

About FA

Friedreich ataxia is a rare, hereditary disease that is characterized by movement and neurological symptoms. Affected individuals typically notice the effects around age 15, where they will experience difficulty moving and slurred speech. Symptoms will continue and may expand to problems with vision and hearing, cardiac arrhythmia, chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, foot abnormalities, scoliosis, and diabetes mellitus. A mutated FXN gene is responsible for this condition. This gene normally produces frataxin, which is necessary for proper mitochondrial function. When it is mutated, this process is interrupted and the mitochondria can no longer perform their functions. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. Treatment is symptomatic.

Find the source article here.

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