November Alpha-1 Awareness Month: Week 4 Recap

Week #4 of the Virtual Walk has come to an end… and the feeling of THANKFULNESS for the Alpha-1 community is an understatement. Alpha-1 families, friends and individual participants walked over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to turn the map purple as donations came in.

Over the weekend, teams and walkers were challenged to help the Alpha-1 Community reach the fundraising goal by asking their networks of family and friends to donate towards their goals. During November we have shared the great success stories of people who have surpassed their fundraising and personal walking goals. It has been so inspiring and we are proud to announce the Alpha-1 Community has achieved the goal and raised over $75,000 community dollars!

Highest Fundraiser Alert: Big shout out to Anita Sellers, team captain of “Arkansas Friends.”  Anita and her family have been participating in the virtual walk for seven years, raising over $50,000 for the Alpha-1 Foundation. The last couple of walks have been in memory of her late husband, Keith Sellers. Anita and her team are nothing short of AMAZING with over fifty teammates donating and walking throughout November in memory of Keith.

Due to last year’s success of the handmade University of Arkansas “Razorback Quilt” raffle, Anita and her family decided to run the raffle again. Anita created a handmade a quilt with signed Razorback t-shirts from the University’s coaches Sam Pittman (head football coach), Dave VanHorn  (head baseball coach) and Eric Mussellman (head basketball coach). Donations have come in from all parts of Arkansas raising over $3,600 on the quilt raffle and $3,900 on the “Arkansas Friends” page, making Anita and” Arkansas Friends” both the highest personal 2022 Virtual Walk fundraiser and team raising $7,500.

“This is not about the Seller family but about finding a cure for Alpha-1. It makes my heart happy to know so many people have loved on Keith in such a generous way over the years! “ said Anita. Thank you, Anita, for carrying on the legacy of Keith through your grandkids and the community. The raffle winner will be drawn later today!

Thank you out to all the Clinical Resource Centers (CRCs) who have participated in the Virtual Walk. Your dedication and commitment to your patients and their families throughout the year is truly appreciated.

  • Frank Rahaghi from The Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, FL
  • Doug Lee from Wilmington Health in Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Jeanine D’Armiento and Dr. Monica Goldklang from Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, New York
  • Robert “Sandy: Sandhaus and Dr. Karina Serban from National Jewish in Denver, Colorado
  • Alvaro Velasquez from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you to companies that participated and walked for the Alpha-1 Community!

  • Eversana with over 80 employees walking today for the Alpha-1 community in Chesterfield, Missouri!
  • Wave Life Sciences with over 37 walkers joined in Cambridge, Massachusetts

A special thank you to our Building Friends for a Cure Sponsors who make events like this possible and spread awareness all year long. AlphaNet, CSL Behring, Grifols and Takeda

Congratulations to Lucky Luciano Team and his family who came from up from Florida to be with their cousins and grandmother in New York for the holiday. This is Melissa and Richie’s ’s 2nd time participating in the annual Virtual Walk!

Thank you to:

  • Liza Bloom walking from Stonington, Connecticut raised over $800,
  • Deb and Tony Labud from Micanopy, Florida
  • Maddie Jean from Victoria, Texas wearing her new Alpha-1 bandana for Team Defiance
  • Team Mulholland, raised over $1,850 in memory of Tom Mulholland.

Donations continue to come in as we close out the 2022 Alpha-1 Virtual Walk and November Awareness Month. The event will remain open online for donations until the end of the year! Please stay tuned for details on the upcoming Virtual Closing Day Ceremony.  Details will be emailed to all participants with the Zoom link. We hope to see you there.

Richard Lovrich, Alpha in Action

“I began seeking proclamations soon after my Alpha-1 diagnosis, but achieved success after forming the Capital Region of New York Alphas Support Group. Democratic Assemblymen Angelo Santabarbara and Republican Senator Jim Tedisco stepped up and have continued, now often beating me to the punch by contacting me seasonally, even before I get a chance to contact them. Along with Congressman and early sponsor of H.R. 7346 Paul Tonko, these are public servants in every sense and all dedicated to Alpha-1 awareness. Approach your public officials through every channel you can think of: through their websites and social media platforms, through personal connections and by approaching them at public events. Never lose the faith that someday soon, you will connect and they will respond positively,” stated Richard Lovrich.