Kaylee's Course supports progeria research - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Kaylee's Course supports progeria research

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

The 7th annual Race for Progeria research drew more than a thousand people Saturday morning.

It was called Kaylee's Course, named after eight-year-old Kaylee Halko, who is battling the rare aging disease.

Kaylee said she had to be careful on the course named in her honor, " I didn't want to do the run cause people would have knocked me over. so I did the walk and then the run."

Kaylee's Mom Marla Halko said, "She loves the attention and she's quite comfortable with it all."

She says people in the area accept Kaylee for her differences and want to help her. Something that the family appreciates.

Other area families coping with the rare condition attended the race. Ryan Kudzia, the father of toddler Carly Kudzia said,  "They're just someone to lean on/understand what we're going thru and things like that and the community's just rallying around supporting Kaylee, supporting Carly, so it's a pretty good feeling."

Five-year-old Zach Pickard, who also has progeria, traveled from Lexington, Kentucky for the race. His family made the five hour drive for the fifth year in a row so Zach would have the chance to interact with other children coping with the condition.

Marla Halko says the fundraising is important because there are only 22 cases of progeria in the United States and the funds go to help fund potentially life-saving drug trials.

The Progeria Research Foundation is expected to raise upwards of two million dollars in 2012.

If you would like to donate, click on www.progeriaresearch.org.

 

 

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