Cincinnati, OH (October 26, 2009) Inspired by recent breakthroughs in research, today the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) announced a major fundraising initiative entitled Research to Reality: Funding Progress. Funds raised by the campaign are earmarked to accelerate the progress of crucial research, and bring promise to reality. Country music sensation Clint Black, whose niece Courtney lost her battle with Rett syndrome in 2003 at age 16, will serve as Honorary Chair of the campaign. The foundation hopes to raise $3-5 million in proceeds, over and above its annual $2.5 million research budget, for scientists at major institutions who are committed to Rett syndrome research and other neurological disorders.
"At this pivotal time, I am honored to serve as chair of this important campaign to help accelerate treatments and a cure of Rett syndrome," said Mr. Black. "My family has experienced first-hand the devastation caused by this neurological disorder, and I am eager to support the exciting research on the horizon that can help reverse Rett syndrome."
Additionally, IRSF announced that it is the recipient of a lead one million dollar matching gift challenge donation from The Pioneer Fund, a private family foundation created by the late Helen M. McLoraine, to kick off the Research to Reality campaign. This gift came about as a result of a great friendship that developed between Mr. Black and Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, who serves on the board of The Pioneer Fund, while the two were teammates on the 2009 Celebrity Apprentice.
"This generous gift will be a defining moment for our foundation and propel IRSF forward in our mission to provide care to families, while searching feverishly for a cure of Rett syndrome," said Kathryn Kissam, Chairman of the IRSF. "Breakthroughs in Rett research will help unlock the mysteries of many other conditions including autism, schizophrenia and mental retardation. We invite
|Contact: Kathryn Kissam|
International Rett Syndrome Foundation