Week 2 Recap: Let’s Cure It! Alpha-1 Awareness Month

The second week of the Alpha-1 Virtual Walks was a huge success! We are officially at the halfway mark of the month. We thank the individual walkers and teams who have successfully fundraised and spread awareness across the United States.

We hosted a successful Alpha-1 Education Day in Bethesda, Maryland joined by local Alphas and regional support group leaders as well as online viewers. The 24th Gordon L. Snider Critical Issues Workshop titled “The Alveolar Macrophage: Role in Lung Destruction and AATD” took place the next day to discuss Alpha-1-related lung disease.

During November’s Alpha-1 Awareness Month anyone and everyone can participate by downloading our free digital and printable toolkits, sharing content on social media, and registering for the Alpha-1 Virtual Walk 2022.

Thank you to our Alpha-1 Advocates for obtaining Alpha-1 Proclamations from the following states: New York- Daniel Grimm, Idaho- Diane & Larry Angell, Michigan- Judy Harnois, Illinois- Deb Burwell and Jackie English and Kentucky- Clara Jamison.

Diana Patterson met with Congressman Troy Carter’s office in New Orleans, Louisiana to discuss H.R. 7346, the John W. Walsh Home Infusion Act. We encourage you to reach out to your local representative to cosponsor this bill to provide Medicare coverage of at-home augmentation therapy for Alphas. Contact Jeanne Kushner at jkushner@alpha1.org for more information on how to get involved.

The Alpha-1 Community has hit 75% of the overall fundraising goal of $70,000. Now is the time to reach out to all your friends and family and ask them to help support you and your cause! Help us cross the finish line and get one step closer to a cure.

Thank you to our top fundraising teams:

  • Team Lucas’ Lucarios have reached their outstanding goal of $5,000 at their first-ever Virtual Walk. Lucas, whose favorite Pokémon character is Lucario, was recently diagnosed with Alpha-1. His mom, Lindsay and family rallied the support of their network in Astoria, New York and from across the country to walk in honor of Lucas. We are grateful they have shared their story and commitment to making a difference!
  • Congratulations to Eli Bloom who successfully pulled off the ultimate surprise for his mom’s birthday! Eli secretly planned a University of Rhode Island roller hockey charity game in honor of his mom. Dozens of family members, teammates and college friends gathered at the Longplex Arena in Tiverton, Rhode Island for the game of a lifetime. Eli custom designed hockey jerseys and sold them for donations to Alpha-1. The day kicked- off with a ceremonial puck drop! Great job to Eli and his team who raised over $3,500 in honor of his mom and the Alpha-1 Community.
  • Thank you to Memory Whitlock, captain of “Team Steve” for organizing walks and raising funds for the past seven years. “I am truly blessed with wonderful family and friends who continue to support this great cause! I know Steve would be very proud. It is an honor to walk each year for all Alphas! Team Steve has raised over $3,600 dollars towards the cure.
  • Lauren Fountain and Laraine Potter, support group leaders from the Central Georgia Alpha-1 Support Group and the Heart of Georgia Alpha-1 Support Group, hosted a great walk over the weekend. They were joined by Emory University Hospital Clinical Resource Center (CRC) physician Alvaro Velazquez and his wife. Thank you to the 25 walkers who walked in their purple Let’s Cure It shirts around their local park.

Other impactful moments from Week 2:

  • Keep up the hard work James Quain, Alpha and lung transplant recipient that has walked 100 miles already this November. Help cheer him on as he continues to track his miles on Strava!
  • Congrats to Rob Ploke who summited Mt. Kangchenjunga at 28,169 feet! Mt. Kangchenjunga the third highest mountain in the world located in Northeastern India in the Great Himalaya Range. Rob is a dear friend of the Alpha-1 Foundation Chairman of the Board, Jon Hagstrom, and hiked in honor of Jon and the Alpha-1 Community after his participation in the Escape to the Cape Bike Trek this September. Thank you to Rob for showing a true testament friendship, commitment, and going to great heights to spread Alpha-1 awareness.
  • Team Miami Office is appreciative to our local vendors like, Jose Tovar from Tinlof- Xerox sales who participates annually in our Virtual Walk!
  • Thank you to everyone who walked over the past weekend! We had teams from Wesley Chapel, FL to Boston, MA to San Diego, CA and everywhere across the United States spreading awareness and raising funds for Alpha-1!

Please continue to email your fundraising pages, upload your progress on Strava and post on social media using the #A1FVW22 and #Alpha1Awareness hashtags. Please send your pictures to Irene Calderon at icalderon@alpha1.org to be featured on social media and weekly emails.