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A-T Walk For a Cure set for June 21

Pedestrians and cyclists will join forces Saturday, June 21 to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease.
The 16th annual A-T Walk For a Cure will raise money for research into a cure or treatment for ataxia-telangiectasia.
A-T is a rare genetic disease that attacks early in childhood, progressively effecting co-ordination, compromising the immune system and predisposing the patient to fatal cancers.
Patients with A-T, which attacks children of all race an ethnicity, are usually unable to walk by age 10 and often do not live beyond their teens.
The A-T Walk For a Cure has raised more than $1-million to fund research.
The day begins at 7:30 a.m. at Hilltop Dairy north of Fort Macleod on Secondary Highway 811 with registration for an 80-kilometre bike ride that gets under way at 8 a.m.
Registration for the walk is at 10:30 a.m., with people heading on two- and five-kilometre routes at 11:30 a.m.
A barbecue at Hilltop Dairy follows the bike ride and walk, with prizes awarded to the people who raise the most money.
Conrad and Rhonda Van Hierden founded the A-T Walk For a Cure after their son Randy was diagnosed with A-T.
The 2014 walk is held in memory of Randy, who died in 2004, and in honour of Alex Olive, who was diagnosed two years ago with A-T.
Money raised Saturday will go to the A-T Children’s Project, which funds research.
Scientists at the A-T Clinical Centre at Johns Hopkins University are conducting studies to minimize life-threatening lung complications and reduce eye movement abnormalities and tremors.
Scientists are also working to discover abnormal levels of specific proteins in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with A-T that may lead to new drug targets.
Human cell models for A-T are being developed, and scientists are working to find out how the A-T protein works in brain cells.
The research done on A-T could help all genetic neurological diseases. It has already shed light on cancer, metabolic syndrome and HIV/AIDS.
For information or to donate to the A-T Walk For a Cure contact Conrad or Rhonda Van Hierden at 403-634-2625, conradvh@telus.net or rhondavanh@gmail.com
For information about the bike ride contact Brendan Grant at bgrant@telusplanet.net or 403-627-8793.

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