LIVONIA, Mich., Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- There is no cure for the disorder affecting Matthew, 3, Spencer, 6, "rap star" Zach, 8, or Alaina, 10, but today the children have a new hope to find a cure for Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC). Heartwarming videos featuring the children won the hearts of thousands and prompted online and text votes that catapulted AHCF into the winner's circle in the final minutes of the Pepsi Refresh contest last Tuesday night. AHCF is officially a finalist pending verification.
The rare children's disease, Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood or AHC, is a permanent and painful neurological disorder that causes attacks of temporary paralysis that can last minutes or days. AHC is often misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy or epilepsy and has no cure.
For AHC kids, life will never be easy. The disease impairs their ability to learn, giving them limited communication skills and also affects muscle control, causing shallow breathing, difficulty walking and swallowing. "We're not a huge, well established charity," says Jeff Wuchich, Matthew's father and AHCF President. "We've made impressive inroads in creating awareness of AHC. We know we'll need all the help we can get to find a cure for this debilitating disorder." Wuchich adds, "We are very gratified by the faith of those who voted for us and hopeful for a better life for our kids."
The AHC Foundation was formed in 1995 to raise awareness and funds for genetic research to find the cause, treatment and ultimately a cure for AHC. Winning the research grant of $250,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project will enable researchers to map the gene that causes AHC. New genetic testing begins in January, 2011 with a greater sample of patients, which will aid in identifying the cause of AHC.
For more information on Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood, visit the AHCF website at http://www.AHCKids.org, AHC Kids Foundation Facebook Page and @AHCKids on Twitter.
SOURCE The AHC Foundation