Welcome and thank you for your interest in 24 Hours for Hank!
Hi, my name is Henry, but my friends call me Hank. In November 2007 I was diagnosed with Cystinosis, a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 500 people in the United States (mostly children), and about 2,000 people worldwide. This disease causes the amino acid “cystine” to accumulate in the body’s cells. Over time, cystine buildup slowly destroys various organs including the kidneys, liver, muscles, white blood cells, eyes and central nervous system.
Because Cystinosis is such a rare disease that affects such a small population, research money is scarce to nonexistent. Termed an “orphan disease”, Cystinosis has not been adopted by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat it or prevent it. Yet research on complicated diseases like Cystinosis often lead to advancements in other rare diseases. In 2008 my parents attended a fundraiser in California to raise money for research, and after talking to physicians and researchers are very hopeful a cure will be found some day soon.
In an attempt to help that day come sooner than later, their friends and family started this foundation to help raise funds for research. To date the foundation has raised over $675,000 for Cystinosis Research. Our next fundraiser is 24 Hours of Schweitzer on March 25-26th, 2016.