I'm running to help find a cure for my sweet little niece, Melia who was diagnosed with Rett's Syndrome last year.
I've never been a runner, but alway wanted to be. I have successfuly run a 5K but never more then that, so I am nervous and excited that I am running my first 1/2 marathon for my niece Melia.
She is very loving and sweet, but trapped in her little body, unable to speak, express herself or play like other small girls her age. She was a perfectly healthy baby girl developing and talking like all normal little girls until she was about 18 months old and that is when Rett's started to rob her of these things.
Rett's syndrome is a debilitating neurological (movement) disorder that predominantly affects females. Baby girls are born "normal" but begin to lose acquired skills between the ages of 1-3 years old. It is caused by a single gene mutation that leads to underproduction of an important brain protein. Rett's syndrome is the most severe form of autism.
There is lots of hope and science that Rett's can be the first curable genetic disorder!
My sister and her daughter are amazing and I am so happy to do what I can to support her and Melia.