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Review for Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Foundation Inc, Southfield, MI, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

AHC and the AHCF are very near and dear to my heart. My younger sister, Kathleen, suffers from this rare neurological disorder that is characterized by unpredictable, often painful episodes that leave her temporarily paralyzed, either partially on one side or on both.

Our foundation, the AHCF, is a nonprofit organization supporting AHC patients and their families. The foundation supports research to identify the causes of AHC, develop effective treatment protocols, and ultimately find a cure. Through the education of healthcare professionals, we promote early and proper diagnosis of the disorder.

I have been around since the foundation's inception in 1993 and let me tell you the AHCF is amazing. Despite the miles between patients, researchers and physicians, (AHC is a rare disease), this foundation is the little engine that could. I have seen this foundation develop with my own two eyes, from fundraising by families and years of limited research, to what is being done NOW and my goodness are they on their way!

Since the beginning, AHCF has always been about community and support – I remember my mom, current President of the AHCF, staying up to all hours of the night speaking to parents about their child – whether they be recently diagnosed or struggling with AHC. For years, AHCF produced a newsletter – typed and mailed (yes snail mail), full of updates, advice and information. Why? Because this foundation has always been about the AHC patients & families, providing as much information and support as humanly possible. Talking about overcoming obstacles, not only were these parents caring for their children with AHC, but they were doing it at a time with little resources and connections… there were no search engines or email – the phone was their lifeline, all they had was each other. Getting in contact with other parents, getting a diagnosis, finding a neurologist who was familiar with AHC... was no easy feat.

Now with the internet, things are so much easier – especially when it comes to awareness, so that patients can be diagnosed much quicker! The power of things as simple as Google, email, having a website and social media, have made a huge impact on the AHCF. In 2010, AHCF participated and won the online voting contest Pepsi Refresh. The win allowed AHCF to begin DNA sequencing. The first gene mutation that causes AHC was discovered in 2012 – The same gene mutation is also responsible for Rapid Onset Dystonia Parkinsonism (RDP)! In the last five years, AHCF has been able to fund various research projects in the United States and abroad. We are in our fourth year of research at Vanderbilt and Northwestern Universities. Answers are coming! We have an outstanding board of directors and medical advisory board that are the driving force behind the AHCF.

I can’t stress it enough that there is such a sense of community and willpower within this foundation! Patients, families, physicians and researchers travel across the country and sometimes world, in order to be diagnosed, meet other families, gain more knowledge of the disorder and collaborate. Family meetings and medical symposiums are absolutely priceless when it comes to our foundation... the chance to hear from our researchers, the chance to meet other AHC patients, the chance to be together as a community – truly magical.

I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the amazing and inspiring AHC kids and adults and would love to find a treatment for this disease! Fundraising for AHCF is worth every minute of my time because I know that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the foundation. I was lucky to have played a major role in our recent fundraiser here in California – Wine Women and Shoes. The amount of support in the form of sponsorships, donations, volunteers, etc. was astounding!!! Everyone I came into contact with loved what we were doing and wanted to be part of it! We have received countless feedback from our guests and donors inquiring when we will be doing this event again and how they would love to contribute again!

Supporting our nonprofit foundation is kind of like supporting the Mom & Pop store instead of the Giant Chain Store --- your funding goes right to the source: straight to research, education and awareness. Donors are making an excellent decision when they choose to donate to AHCF – volunteers are making a wonderful decision when they volunteer their time and talents for AHCF – your money, your time, your support, WILL HELP THE AHCF GREATLY!

You want to make a donation or volunteer for a Great Nonprofit? Say hello to the amazing Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Foundation! We’re rare, we’re small, but we're doing BIG things and with your help, we will find a cure for AHC!

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Role:  Volunteer