Special Bikes Going to Children in Tampa with Muscular Dystrophy, Down’s Syndrome

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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More than a dozen children in the Tampa, Florida area with muscular dystrophy, Down’s syndrome, and other neuromuscular disorders will soon be getting new and specially adapted bicycles donated by the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine.

The 17 young recipients are from the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Support, Inc., based in the city, and will be presented their new bicycles at the ACMG 2016 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting and Conference at the Tampa Convention Center on March 11. The event is part of the foundation’s annual  Day of Caring, coinciding with the larger conference.

“On behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the families we serve, I am grateful to the ACMG Foundation for their generous donation of the adaptive bicycles for our local children living with neuromuscular disease. Our children face many challenges, along with a progressive disease, wherein the ability to ride a bicycle without modifications would not be possible,” Paula Orandash, MDA’s associate director of Family Support and Clinical Care, said in a press release. “This program will afford our kids the opportunity to play with their siblings and friends without appearing to be different. The ability to just ‘play’ and just be a kid is priceless.”

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine supports research, education and other programs to translate insights into genetics into better health. The nonprofit also raises money to encourage and support young geneticists to further research into medical genetics.

“The medical genetics community is dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with genetic conditions,” said Foundation president, Bruce R. Korf, MD, PhD, and FACMG. “We are delighted that we can play a role in helping children with genetic conditions in the Tampa area. What better way to demonstrate caring than by supporting children with a special surprise that helps them have some of the same experiences that their peers have.”

The ACMG Foundation Day of Caring is also supported by members of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, and by PerkinElmer and Shire.

Ann Foyt, president of F.R.I.E.N.D.S., thanked the ACMG Foundation and its partners, and added, the “‘Day of Caring’ is an awesome program and I hope your good deed continues to reach out to all children with genetic disorders for a long time to come.”

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