Hollywood celebrities will be out in force tomorrow at a Chicago gala to help raise awareness and money for the debilitating disorder, Angelman syndrome.
Actors Colin Farrell, Jai Courtney, Josh Peck, Retta, Zachary Levi and Jesse Lee Soffer are among those expected to attend the event benefiting the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST). Each of the actors has strong personal ties to an individual with Angelman syndrome and actively works to support FAST. Farrell’s son James was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome at age two. Previous attendees have included Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosie Perez, Wilmer Valderrama, Jesse and Richard Marx.
FAST is led by Paula Evans, the mother of a young girl with Angelman syndrome. Evans is credited with inspiring more than two dozen scientists from multiple universities and pharmaceutical companies to join the effort, all focused on a path to a cure. Evans and the scientific team have begun a two-year plan to bring about human clinical testing of four potential treatments for Angelman syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder that affects roughly one in 15,000 people and about 490,000 people worldwide. FAST is trying to raise $2.5 million by the end of the year to fund the next critical phase of research involving gene therapy. The weekend gala and related two-day FAST Global Summit is expected to draw more than 1,000 people from around the world.
To contribute, go to the FAST website at CureAngelman.org/donate.