DALLAS, Dec. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of 20 taking part in the BMW Dallas Marathon (December 7-9) will run to raise awareness of young-onset dementia and support The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, the country's leading nonprofit focused on FTD.
Funds raised will help expand AFTD's mission: improving quality of life for people affected by frontotemporal degeneration today and driving research for a future free of this disease.
Runners include Texas native and Days of Our Lives star Martha Madison, a longtime AFTD supporter. Ms. Madison and her sisters Alison Popek and Bo Yates are raising vital funds and running in honor of their mother, Barbara Baggs, who has lived with FTD for more than 15 years.
"Since my sister Bo's completion of her first Ironman earlier this year, I have not only been inspired by her physical fitness, motivation and tenacity, but also by her mantra: 'I do it because I can!'" Martha said.
"Our mother and so many others cannot because of this devastating disease. So, I decided to train for the last six months and run in honor of those who cannot. I will carry my Mom in my mind and heart the entire way."
Madison continues: "AFTD has been such an important resource for my family during my mom's FTD journey. Together, we're working to ensure that more people have awareness of FTD. While formally classified as a rare disease, it's actually the most prevalent form of dementia for people under 60."
"FTD differs from Alzheimer's in so many ways – it strikes younger, and it affects personality, behavior, language and movement, as opposed to memory," she adds. "We're running for our mom, who faces these challenges with strength and dignity. And we're running for all affected by dementia or neurodegenerative disease."
In a few short days, Martha and her family have raised more than $2,500 in connection with the Marathon to support AFTD's mission – joining other fundraisers in raising nearly $5,000 to date. These contributions will be used to advance research, education, awareness and support for families living with FTD.
"AFTD began as a volunteer organization, and committed, passionate and driven volunteers are the ones who will one day bring an end to this disease," says Bridget Graham, AFTD's Grassroots Events Coordinator. "We're grateful to Martha, Alison and Bo, and to all who are taking part in this year's Marathon!"
Anyone interested in supporting this fundraiser can do so – and post an encouraging message for our runners – by clicking this link.
Established in 1971, the Dallas Marathon is the longest-running marathon in Texas, drawing runners from across the U.S. and abroad. Community members in the area are encouraged to drop by this weekend and cheer our runners on! Visit the AFTD website for more information about the various races AFTD-Team members participate in each year.
About AFTD: Founded in 2002, The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) is the leading U.S. nonprofit working to improve the lives of people with FTD, their care partners and loved ones. AFTD promotes and funds research toward diagnosis, treatment and a cure for FTD; stimulates greater public awareness and understanding; provides information and support to those directly impacted; provides education for healthcare professionals; and advocates for appropriate, affordable services. AFTD envisions a world with compassionate care, effective support and a future free of FTD.
About FTD: FTD strikes adults most often in their 40s and 50s, when they are still working and may be raising a family. The condition impacts personality, behavior, language and/or movement. A study commissioned by AFTD and published in Neurology found FTD's average annual costs to be nearly double those of Alzheimer's disease. Still, because many have never heard of FTD, including health professionals, most families face a very long journey to an accurate diagnosis: nearly 4 years on average. Today there are no disease-modifying treatments and there is no cure, but awareness is increasing.
SOURCE The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration