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Joyce Endee

Rotarians learn about AHC… everyone should!


July 29, 2021
ALTON – At Thursday's Alton Centennial Rotary Club weekly meeting, guest speakers and grandparents of infant Olivia, Cathy and Larry Hallin, spoke about a rare and devastating disorder afflicting her.

Olivia, after a long period of time and research, has been diagnosed to have AHC. It's a neurological disorder in which repeated transient attacks of hemiplegia (paralysis of a portion of the body, including the face) occur, usually affecting one side of the body or the other, or both sides of the body at once. It ranges from simple numbness in an extremity to full loss of

feeling and movement. The attacks may last for minutes, hours or even days and are normally relieved by sleep. The attacks alternate from one side of the body to the other.

AHC is: Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood. What triggers an attack can be as simple as being startled, lights being turned on, loud noises, etc. It is very painful and can cause her head and eyes to be locked to one side and her limbs stiffened or paralyzed. Even though, after long episodes of crying because of the pain, Olivia still manages small smiles, happily propping herself up with her one good arm, as if to say "just kidding." The Race to end AHC is on!

For more than 25 years, the AHC Foundation has been in the race to treat or cure AHC for all AHC kids. To date, there is no FDA approved drug available but the AHC Foundation is working on gene editing. Their focus is on "CRISPR" which is a technology that can be used to edit

genes. For more information about AHC and on how anyone can help, go to: www. Ahckids.org/race.

Mr. and Mrs. Hallin were introduced by Alton Rotarian, David Countway. Rotary is a non-profit, non-religious, non-political service organization dedicated to improving and saving lives both globally and locally. For information on membership contact Rotarian Duane Hammond, 569-3745.

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