Jul 08

The State Journal – Frankfort, KY

The State Journal – Frankfort, KY – July 8, 2012 – click here

The State Journal – Frankfort, KY – March 7, 2010 – click here

The State Journal – Frankfort, KY – March 4, 2010 – click here

The State Journal – Frankfort, KY – February 12, 2010 – click here

The State Journal – Frankfort, KY – March 12, 2008 – click here

The “State Journal” publishes the FIRST EVER article on Zach on March 12, 2008 to publicize the Frankfort Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast on March 15, 2008.  It was a great story and can be viewed at http://www.state-journal.com/news/article/3456922

Zach looks like any other baby. At 13 months, he’s learning to walk, stumbling clumsily across his living room floor. He says words like “mama” and “papa” and laughs when his parents make funny faces.

But three months ago, his parents, Brandon (Bill) and Tina Pickard of Lexington, learned that Zach isn’t like other children. He was diagnosed with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a fatal disease characterized by a rapid aging process.

Now Zach’s aunt, Kristin Pickard, who works at the downtown Farmers Bank, along with help from her mother-in-law, Kim Pickard, has organized a pancake breakfast and silent auction from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Frankfort Applebee’s to increase awareness about the disease and raise money for the Progeria Research Foundation.

“The disease isn’t as well-known as others, so they don’t receive enough donations,” Kristen Pickard said. “It’s too rare and too few people know of it.”

When Zach was 2 months old, his parents took him to a doctor for unexplained skin bumps. This began a nine-month ordeal of going from doctor to doctor, searching for answers to Zach’s unique symptoms.

Dr. Ann Lucky, a pediatric dermatologist in Cincinnati, was the first physician to suggest Zach be tested for Progeria. Like most physicians, Lucky had never diagnosed the disease before, but she believed Zach exhibited enough of the symptoms to warrant a test.

“At first we didn’t believe this was possible because of the rarity of the syndrome,” Tina Pickard said.

“But I knew by the end of the day, after looking at information on the Internet, that this is what he had.”
Exactly six weeks later, Zach was diagnosed with Progeria. Only one in 4 to 8 million children has the disease.

“We were shocked initially,” Tina Pickard said.

But then came acceptance.

“We realized God had chosen to bless us with this baby. And we are honored. Truly honored,” Tina Pickard said.

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is a disease that accelerates the aging process when the child is 18-24 months old. Children with this syndrome die of heart disease at an average age of 13 after aging at a rate six to eight times faster than an average person. Approximately 100 cases have been formally identified in medical history

Because heart disease is the number one killer in America, finding a cure will not only help children like Zach, but it may provide keys for treating millions of adults with heart disease and stroke associated with the natural aging process.

Researchers recently discovered the cause of Progeria in 2002. They believe it is caused by a mutation in the gene called LMNA, which makes the Lamin A protein. The defective Lamin A protein renders the nucleus of a cell unstable and that cellular instability appears to lead to the process of premature aging.   Tina Pickard hopes that through this fundraiser, more people can know and understand the disease.

“Honestly, at the end of the day we have to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and say that we’ve made a difference,” Tina Pickard said. “We want to educate people and create awareness within the community that this foundation needs money.”

Zach’s sister, Brittany Banahan, 15, is also helping raise awareness by setting up a Web site for her brother.

Zach is young enough that today the physical symptoms aren’t pronounced. However, as time passes he will begin to exhibit the recognizable traits of a child with Progeria: limited growth resulting in a short stature, hair loss, a small face, thin skin and a loss of body fat.

Although children with Progeria tire more quickly, they can run just as fast, laugh just as hard and live life with the same enthusiasm as other children. They just have less time to do it.
With his messy blonde hair, big blue eyes and infectious smile, Zach attracts attention wherever he goes.

“He yaks with strangers when we’re in restaurants and he draws people to him,” Tina Pickard said. “If you meet him you love him.”


Jun 03

ONEPossible needs YOU!

One Possible Campaign

Friends!  With your continued support, Team Zach Attack raised $7,053 for the One Possible on-line campaign this year.  All together, PRF raised over $200,000!  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!    Together, we WILL find the cure!



Jun 03

June 9, 2012 – Pancake Breakfast at Devotion Lodge

The Pancake Breakfast on June 9,  2012 was awesome!  Thank you so much to the Devotion Lodge 160 for all their hard work in raising over $2,200 for the Progeria Research Foundation.  The pancakes and sausage were yummy and it was a beautiful morning!   We continue to be so grateful for the loyalty and dedication that people have to PRF.  Children with Progeria have a special way of touching people, and for that we are so blessed.  Together, we WILL find the cure

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