Jacob Family Pledges Up to $250K to FAST for Donation Matches

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by Mary Chapman |

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Philanthropists Ryan and Annie Jacob

Philanthropists Ryan and Annie Jacob have pledged up to $250,000 to the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics, known as FAST, through a new donation matching program.

The Austin, Texas-based couple, who have a son with Angelman syndrome, will match donations up to that amount through FAST’s fundraising initiative, called Cure Angelman Now (CAN).

Founded in 2008, FAST funds research that seeks an Angelman cure. The organization’s research initiatives are focused on finding better treatments for Angelman symptoms, which can include abnormal sleep cycles, hyperactivity, a short attention span, and seizures, plus movement and communication issues.

Treatments for the complex neurological genetic disorder emphasize seizure control and management of physical and behavioral symptoms.

“We are appreciative of Ryan and Annie Jacob’s generosity,” John Schlueter, the chair of FAST’s board, said in a press release. “With their support and the continued support of the Angelman community, FAST can fund additional research and advancements that bring life-changing treatments to our loved ones with Angelman syndrome.”

In addition to the United States, FAST has associated organizations in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Italy, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The nonprofit is the largest non-governmental funder of Angelman syndrome research.

Ryan Jacob today is a FAST board member. He spent his career investing in helping private companies grow, then relaying that knowledge to nonprofit organizations. He and his wife, Annie, discovered FAST after their son, Grayson, was diagnosed with Angelman when he was 2 years old.

“Our philanthropic focus is to find an effective cure for Angelman syndrome to improve the lives of children and adults with genetic diseases and intellectual and physical disabilities,” Ryan Jacob said.

“FAST works tirelessly to bring practical treatments into current medical practice as quickly and safely as possible. We appreciate the work that FAST is doing, not only for our son Grayson but the entire Angelman community,” he said.

“We are proud to support FAST’s Cure Angelman Now initiative and it is our hope that the donation matching program will raise additional funds for research,” Jacob added.

Angelman is thought to affect about 1 in 15,000 individuals.

“FAST is working harder than ever to create meaningful change for individuals living with Angelman syndrome,” Schlueter said. “The donations that FAST receives go directly to Angelman syndrome research and advancements.”