I was invited to attend a Family Meeting in Indianapolis in July 2016 (I live in Northern Alberta Canada) so I could share our story about our daughter, Danielle, who sadly passed away in 2013 after living for 36 1/2 yrs. with AHC. She was believed to have been the 3rd person in Canada diagnosed in 1979 with this disorder and we clearly charted an unknown path with her. I came away from the meeting having shared our story and having learned so much about the tenacity of the parents and children who battle this disease. The Foundation is made up of an amazing group of people , including parents. They all give so much love and care to each and everyone they encounter. I was a stranger to them but felt like part of the family by the time I left. My one big regret is that Danielle never got to benefit from the incredible work that is being done to fight AHC. She was definitely there in spirit though as I chose to speak on the anniversary of her 40th B-D and she lifted me up. I trust that my message will give the parents the strength to keep going - there will be an answer some day & may God bless everyone who is looking for that answer.
Our daughter (22) was diagnosed with AHC six years ago. AHCF has been funding research for this rare disease for over 20 years. Their funding helped medical researchers identify a common gene mutation which led to more research on the brain, molecular models and drug compounds. This work, in helping AHC, may also help other brain diseases. Every two years AHCF organizes a family meeting which connects families from around the world and the medical community. We are grateful to the board - a dedicated set of parents - who make it happen.
I am the mother of a 31 year old daughter with AHC. We have recently returned from the family meeting in the USA from New Zealand. How great it was to meet other people wth this condition and to see how hard the board members and parents work to educate and help us in all aspects of this disability. There is a wealth of information they have brought together for everyone to share.
As a parent of a 23 yr old son with AHC, I fully understand the tremendous void this organization has filled, and continues to fill, in assisting families through emotional support, awareness of medical advances, ideas relating to solutions for day to day problems on such things as adaptive technologies, how to work with school systems on preparing a useful IEP, navigating the bureaucratic nightmare of medicaid, etc. They work to coordinate medical efforts to find a cure (or keep abreast of potential avenues of research) by working with multi-disciplinary doctors. Being such an extremely rare disorder that receives little attention from researchers, they provide some hope in organizing efforts that can hopefully provide some relief to the afflicted individuals and their families. I have been involved with this organization from its inception and know that they perform a vast array of services that may seem minor but are critical to maintain some degree of sanity and realism to the families. Sometimes just venting is needed, other times they will help hook up individuals with another family that is going through similar issues. With low cognitive skills and often extreme retardation, explaining what is happening to the AHC kid having, for example, a terrifying first experience with menstruation, can lead to feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and depression. The family conferences that I've attended are always uplifting. Sometimes just reassuring new parents that they can make it through has a profound effect on their outlook. When your average family doctor or pediatric neurologist knows less than the man on the moon about AHC, it is a great relief to get assistance on where to find more information about this disorder. Being able to call and get a cheerful, understanding, and non-judgemental person to help explain what the future may hold or what medicines have seemed to be helpful is a great relief. Before this organization arose, it was not unusual to go through doctor after doctor claiming it's epilepsy (as in the early years with my son) and having him doped up on phenobarbitol despite no evidence of epilepsy on any EEGs. We need all the help we can get. This disorder is unlikely to have a day, week, or month named after it to promote awareness; Bono, any remaining Beatles, or Springsteen are not going to do a televised fundraiser for AHC. Living with it is a lonely ordeal that would be brutal without such an organization. I could go on but....by now I hope you get the point on how important this organization is to a group of kids who are marginalized just because they are few in number, and therefore unlikely to bring fame and fortune to researchers, drug companies, etc.
AHCF has been a lifesaver to me and my family! The tireless efforts to raise funds for research and raising awareness of the disorder speaks volumes about those involved in the foundation. Truly would be lost without them. We can SEE the progress they are making for our kids and adults with AHC!
This is a truly amazing organization. For a group that represents such a small population they do so much great work. Directing the fundraising and research has achieved the discovery of the gene that causes this rare neurological disorder. This discovery would not have happened if not for their leadership.
This foundation provides immense value to families of children affected by AHC.
This organization always keeps me up to date with the process of finding a cure for Alternating Hemiplegia, in which my child suffers from if I need any information they are their to quickly get the information I need for my child Doctor
Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Foundation (AHCF) is an amazing organization! Our daughter was diagnosed in 2012 with AHC and we are so thankful that AHCF has been able to help us every step of the way. When your child has a rare disease, often pediatricians don't have enough experience to guide patients. AHCF does a tremendous job with patient and family support, as well as supporting researchers. They do so many fundraisers and direct SO much money back directly to the specialists who have active, ongoing research. It is encouraging to know that people are fighting for our kids.
AHCF is an amazing organization; they are a quality foundation run mostly by volunteers. They are 100% committed to all AHC kids and to funding valuable research. It is a testament to their commitment to end AHC-a majority of funds raised go directly to research. In addition to being on the leading edge of research, they are invaluable to AHC families! They have a long history of providing answers and help to families who often had no where else to turn.
My son who is now almost 25 was diagnosed with AHC at age 6.5. He also has a life threatening seizure disorder. It was a long process of seeing Dr. after Dr. and it had never even been heard of where I live. This foundation was very helpful in supporting us with useful information that helped both us and our Drs. It was great having someone you could talk too and they understood what you were going thru as they were also having similar experiences with their child.My son has been very stable since 1998 and hasn't had a major seizure since then. His episodes of paralysis are infrequent and totally unpredictable. He still walks but his balance is getting increasingly worse and he has very little stamina so uses a wheelchair for walks and outings. Communication is a major problem for him but he has come a long way. He is happy, has a great sense of humor. Please support this organization. We really need this research to help our children.