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Alpha-1 Awareness Month 2019: Week 4 & Thanksgiving weekend

Dec 5, 2019 | News

November has been a busy month for Alphas around the United States raising awareness about Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1). For 30 days, in 34 states, friends and family supported one strong mission to find a cure. The community set up 72 teams to total 970 walkers who walked, ran, or found their unique way to raise awareness and $80,000 community dollars toward a cure. 

Alphas all over the country asked their elected officials to declare the month of November “Alpha-1 Awareness Month.” The community obtained proclamations from all over the nation and told their stories to the state and local representatives. These proclamations will be displayed at the 2020 Annual Alpha-1 National Conference in Dallas, Texas. 

The last push of walks for the month did not disappoint. The holidays brought people together for pumpkin, turkey, and some walking, too. We are extremely thankful for each step and breath that each of you take to move the mission forward. 

Week four & Thanksgiving weekend Virtual Walk highlights: 

  • “Breathe Easy,” led by team captain Lisa Kosak, joined 11 walkers to show their awareness in multiple locations on the course of the month, including Tokyo, to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dallas, Texas, Mall of the Americas, in Minnesota. They donned their purple tees to show everyone they support the mission.
  • “The Alpha-1 Girl’s Team,” led by team captain Christine Redshaw, dedicated her walk to her dear friend and AlphaNet teammate, Jason, that lost his battle to Alpha-1 last month at only 54 years old. This father of two teenagers loved educating people about Alpha-1 and was a strong advocate in the community. “He was one of the kindest and funniest people I’ve ever met in my life and consider it a blessing to have had him as a friend, even if it was for a brief time,” said Christine.
  • “Team Frisby,” led by the Titus family in Phoenix, Arizona, ran a 5K to show their determination in spreading awareness.
  • “The Alpha Bears,” in Los Osos, California, led by Kristi Smith-Cuarenta, joined kids for a Thanksgiving of awareness.
  • “Team Arrowhead” joined 160 people in their two locations in Madison, Wisconsin and Pasadena, California, for a great walk. Thank you to Dawn Christianson and the entire Arrowhead Team.
  • “The Central LA Alpha Family & Friends” joined by Peg Iverson and family walked in Alexandria, Louisiana. Exchanging ice cream cones for turkey legs they completed their walk on Thanksgiving.
  • “Strides for Snyder” walked together to kick off the holiday week in honor of Steve’s birthday in North Port, Florida, led by team captain Michelle Synder.
  • “The Wallentine Sisters,” in Arnold, Missouri, led by team captain Lynette Sekarski-Budding, walked with their family in honor of their mother and aunt.
  • “Burps for Baps,” in Virginia, led by team captain Andrea West, had a gym class dedicated for Alpha-1 Awareness month.

Additional Teams that finished strong the last week of Awareness Month: 

  • “The McCarty Girls,” in Athens, Georgia, led by team captain Blair McCarty.
  • “Voyage Behavior,” in Hollywood, Florida, led by team captain Amanda Lynn Gray.
  • “Easy Breathing,” in Hildebran, North Carolina, led by team captain Christy Hall-Hollowell.
  • “Courage is a Familiar Trait,” in Northville, Michigan, led by team captain Brooke Fletcher.
  • “A1ADSupport Group Virtual Walk,” led by team captain Raielene Langdon.
  • “Team Jacqueline,” in Waddington, New York, led by Jacqueline Perrault.
  • “Jace’s Journey,” in Madison, Alabama, led by team captain Haley Rogers.
  • “Sole Mates The Villages,” in Florida, led by team captain Darlene Wood.
  • “ABQ Alphas,” in Albuquerque, New Mexico, led by team captain Heather Wolinska.
  • “Saltzman,” in Carlisle, Iowa, led by team captain Amanda Hardin.
  • “My Alpha Wife,” in Bradenton, Florida, led by team captain Brandon Piwowarski.
  • “Rob’s Respiratory Warriors,” in Lansing, Illinois, led by team captain Dawn Bailey.
  • “Team Gilligan,” in Boynton Beach, Florida, led by team captain Alexandra Villeneuve.
  • “The Mavericks,” in Indianapolis, Indiana, led by team captain Kayla Powell.
  • “Debbi-LAD,” in Chesterfield, Pennsylvania, led by team captain Deborah Webb- Howells.
  • “Team Courage,” in Greeneville, Tennessee, led by team captain Kelly Carrier.
  • “Alpha Okies,” in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, led by team captain Janet Fundaro.
  • “The A Team,” in Delphos, Kansas, led by team captain Sharon Snively.

Thank you to ALL of our virtual walk teams, this year has been incredible. We had lots of new walks join the excitement and annual walks grow bigger and better. We love seeing your beautiful photos on social media in your purple shirts spreading awareness and raising funds for Alpha-1! We are so grateful for your creativity, generosity and dedication. 

State proclamations: 

  • Arkansas: obtained by Geoffrey Holmberg
  • Connecticut: obtained by Faith Petty
  • Idaho: obtained by Larry Angell
  • Iowa: obtained by Frank Loutsch
  • Maine: obtained by Brian Pelletier (letter of support)
  • Michigan: obtained by Bart Flook
  • Minnesota: obtained by Jennifer Jopp
  • Nevada: obtained by Norma Leising
  • New Hampshire: obtained by Joanne MelladyNevada: obtained by Norma Leising
  • North Carolina: obtained by Brian Lowery
  • Ohio: obtained by Ann Dissinger
  • Oklahoma: Sandra Smyers
  • Pennsylvania: obtained by Barbara Mattioni (letter of support)
  • Rhode Island: obtained by Patsy Masterson
  • South Carolina: obtained by Marge Quill
  • Tennessee: obtained by Jason Medeiros
  • Utah: obtained by DC Young
  • West Virginia: obtained by Linda Mullin
  • Wyoming: obtained by Nadine Peterson

County/City proclamations: 

  • Coral Gables, FL: obtained by the Alpha-1 Foundation
  • Gainesville, FL: obtained by Debbie Labud
  • Indian River County: obtained by Lisa Kosak
  • Jupiter, FL: obtained by Carla Owens
  • Melbourne, FL: obtained by Dennis O’Connor
  • Tampa, FL: obtained by Heidi Lawson & Andrea Hanes
  • Chattanooga, TN: obtained by Jason Medeiros
  • Bakersfield, CA: obtained by DeeDee Towle
  • Washington County, UT: obtained by DC Young
  • Reno, NV: obtained by Norma Leising
  • Sparks, NV: obtained by Norma Leising

During Alpha-1 Awareness Month, people who have Alpha-1 and those who support them hold educational events, participate in fundraisers for research to find a cure, and share their stories about the trials and triumphs of being an Alpha. 

The Virtual Walk is a part of the Building Friends for a Cure (BFC) program was created by the Foundation to make new friends and nurture those friendships throughout the year, because we cannot do it alone, you are all needed! 

The program was designed to generate awareness, raise funds for research and related programs of the Foundation, extend our geographic reach, and foster stronger links between the Foundation and the community it serves. 

For more information on organizing a fundraising event or activity, please contact Angela McBride at (877) 228-7321 ext. 233, or amcbride@alpha1.org

Building Friends for a Cure program is supported by AlphaNet, CSL Behring, Eversana, Grifols, and Takeda. 

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