Raleigh, North Carolina (PressExposure) September 04, 2009 -- During the September 1, 2009 Raleigh City Council meeting, Mayor Charles Meeker proclaimed September 2009 as Motor Neuron Disease Awareness Month for the City of Raleigh (see proclamation below). Accepting the proclamation was Sarah Roberts-Witt, founder and inspiration behind The Magnificent Mile (www.magmilerace.com), a fundraising event that benefits the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation and helps fund research grants awarded to find a cure for upper motor neuron diseases.
"This proclamation helps shine much-needed light on rare neurological disorders that have been too often in the dark," says Roberts-Witt. "We are so grateful to Mayor Meeker and the Raleigh City Council for helping us in our quest to raise public awareness of motor neuron diseases and their devastating effects."
During the meeting, Mayor Meeker also encouraged residents to participate and support The Magnificent Mile events being held on September 12-13 in downtown Raleigh. The events include one-mile runs and walks, family-friendly activities, as well as an informational seminar to discuss research being conducted to combat these diseases.
The Magnificent Mile is the only area program specifically dedicated to raising awareness and money to fund research of the motor neuron diseases Primary Lateral Sclerosis and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. In its first three years, nearly 1,500 participants have helped raise more than $100,000 to fund research. More than 750 participants are expected at the 2009 event. This year's fundraising goal is $50,000.
For more event information or to register, visit [http://www.magmilerace.com].
About The Magnificent Mile: Sarah Roberts-Witt, co-founder and inspiration behind The Magnificent Mile, was an avid runner and marathoner until developing primary lateral sclerosis in 2004. She is now confined to a wheelchair and is unable to speak, but the disease hasn't stopped her. Since her diagnosis, she has dedicated her time to trying to find a cure-one step at a time. This race combines her love of running with her desire to find a cure for motor neuron disease. The Magnificent Mile races have raised more than $100,000 to fund research grants awarded by the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation to help find a cure for motor neuron disease. Visit [http://www.magmilerace.com].
About Spastic Paraplegia Foundation: The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation (SPF) is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization founded in 2000 and the beneficiary of the Magnificent Mile Races. Its primary mission is to find a cure for two upper motor neuron disorders, primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), and to raise awareness of their devastating effects. Some 92 percent of its funds go to this mission. Since its inception, the SPF has awarded more than $2 million in research grants. Visit http://www.sp-foundation.org.
WHEREAS, there are an estimated 30,000 people with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) in the United States; and
WHEREAS, MND is a group of progressive neurological disorders that destroy cells, which control essential muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing; and
WHEREAS, 90% of cases of MND are sporadic-meaning that the patient has no family history of the disease and there is no known cause for the onset of the disease; and
WHEREAS, there is no single test for MND, which makes diagnosis difficult; and
WHEREAS, there is no cure or standard treatment for MND.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Charles C. Meeker, Mayor of the City of Raleigh, North Carolina, do hereby proclaim the month of September 2009 as Motor Neuron Disease Awareness Month
to bring attention to these diseases, the effect these diseases have on our community, the efforts of local researchers, and the need for additional study to develop a cure for these destructive diseases; and be it further
RESOLVED, that residents are encouraged to participate in and support The Magnificent Mile events, September 12 and 13, the only area program specifically dedicated to raising awareness and money to fund research of the MNDs Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP).