(Dr. Perez; his wife, Carolyn; two daughters, Katie and Lily; and friend Casey at the 2013 Florida Strollathon)
In between grading papers and instructing Panthers at the College of Business Dr. Henry Perez also spends his time coordinating and participating in the annual Florida Strollathon. The Strollathon is a fundraiser for research of Rett syndrome, a rare disorder that affects mainly young girls. It is the signature event of the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF). As of November 1st, 2013 the Florida Strollathons has raised over $100,000 this year alone and $490,000 in the last four years for research of Rett syndrome.
Many girls who are diagnosed with Rett syndrome struggle with everyday life, but with rising awareness of Rett syndrome more research is being conducted to find treatments. The syndrome is part of the autism spectrum and affects as many as 1 in every 10,000 girls. First identified in 1950s, it wasn’t until 1999 until the gene that, when mutated, causes Rett syndrome was identified. The symptoms usually appear early in a young girls life with slowing of skills learning. There have been multiple clinical trials of treatments which are improving at all times, but currently there is no cure for Rett syndrome.
“Research and a deeper understanding of Rett syndrome will not only help those affected by it but everyone.” Dr. Perez said. The money raised during the Strollathons go directly to research and clinical trials via the IRSF. Dr. Perez has been coordinating the event for four years and is looking forward to expanding it to reach an even broader audience. He is also an active participant of the event every year. This year his family’s team has raised over $10,000, one of the highest amounts in Florida.
For more information about the Strollathon, email Dr. Henry Perez at email@example.com or visit the Florida Strollathon website. More information about Rett Syndrome can be found at the International Rett Syndrome Foundation website or by calling 1-800-818-7388.