Whether by donating or cheering on the sidelines, people can show their support for the running team put together by the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF) during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 13.
Called the foundation’s Windy City Angels (WCA), 22 runners each raised more than $2,500 for the ASF, which is the minimum to participate in the race. The fundraising effort has already garnered $60,127 — enough to establish a new ASF medical clinic, or fund six months of research — exceeding its goal of $60,000. The disorder affects about one in 12,000 to 20,000 individuals, with treatments available that can only manage symptoms.
In addition to the clinics that it’s established around the world to provide lifelong medical care to patients, the foundation was incorporated in 1992 to raise funds for disease research and provide experts for clinical trials that test promising new therapies.
The Windy City Angels will be joined by about 45,000 participants from 100 countries and all 50 states in this 42-year-old marathon through 29 neighborhoods in Chicago. Each year, about 1.7 million onlookers line the streets to show their support for the runners on their 26.2-mile race that starts and finishes in Grant Park.
The ASF has set up a fundraising webpage for race participants. Each runner will get a shirt and enjoy a team dinner and party the day before the race. Last year, WCA members raised more than $50,000.
The WCA team this year includes Patty Atkinson, who raised $5,000 for the foundation. She’s running in support of her 26-year-old brother, Mike, who has Angelman.
“He’s my best friend, happiest guy in the world, and has helped to shape [my] identity and passions. As a runner, a marathon has always been on my bucket list, and to have the opportunity to do so while raising money for Mike and those alike is a dream,” she states on the foundation’s WCA webpage.
Dan Baldino is running in memory of his close friend Michelle Garrubbo who, along with her husband, had been devoted to cause.
“I would do anything, including running a marathon, to help advance this cause,” he states. Baldino’s nearly reached his $4,500 goal.
Another participant, Isaac Bules, has raised $2,776 on behalf of his neighbor Millie, who has Angelman.
“The challenges she and her family face every day are my inspiration,” he states. “But I am also excited about what the Angelman Syndrome Foundation does with our donations.”
Angelman syndrome delays development and causes neurological problems and seizures. Although the condition is caused by a genetic mutation that occurs shortly after conception, it generally is not diagnosed until the child is between 18 months and 6 years old.