June 3, 2011

Ducks afloat for NPC

TURLEY — Ducks for Bucks is a non-profit organization created in memory of Breann Chavez who passed away at the age of 3 from Niemann-Pick Disease. Families faced with NPD are faced with a small window of time with their sick child.

Ducks for Bucks was created to help alleviate some of the financial burden these families face so they can focus on enjoying the few years they have with their child. Ducks for Bucks 2011 will take place at Wines of the San Juan, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

This is a family fun day filled with live music, games, raffles, silent auction, food, wine tasting and entertainment for kids of all ages, along with the annual Dainty Duck Dash, a rubber duck race with chances to win cash prizes.

Niemann-Pick Disease is a term for a group of diseases which affect the metabolism and which are caused by specific genetic mutations. NPC is a genetic disease in which the body does not break down cholesterol and instead stores it inside major organs - like liver, spleen and brain. This storage leads to many complications both physically and neurologically and begins to deteriorate the bodies of the young victims it attacks.

The three most commonly recognized forms of the disease are Types A, B, and C. The National Institutes of Health has referred to NP-C as “childhood Alzheimer’s” because of the neurological similarities between the two diseases.

At this point, there is no cure for NPD. All cases are fatal, which makes time incredibly valuable to these families.

For most families facing Type C, neurological symptoms begin appearing between the ages of 4 and 10, with children appearing completely normal until this point. Generally, the later neurological symptoms begin, the slower the progression of the disease.

Once the neurological breakdown begins the body follows. These children lose all mobility; they lose their ability to speak, play, and even eat, leaving many of them to get their nourishment from a feeding tube.

Many suffer with seizures, and other pains they cannot express, leaving caregivers constantly guessing. The vast majority of children die before the age 20 and many die before the age of 10.

NPD is a genetic disease in which both parents must be carriers for their child to become affected with the disease. Each child has a one in four chance of having NPD.

Due to the late onset of the disease, many parents do not realize they are taking this risk until it is too late, resulting in many families with multiple children dying from NPD.

Ducks for Bucks is recognized by the IRS as a public charities non-profit and does have a 501(c)(3). All money raised goes directly to helping families with whatever their greatest need is at the time.

For some that means medical bills, co-pays, and equipment. For others it is just unexpected daily living expenses due to their child’s illness. Those not abe to attend the race in person may purchase a rubber duck for $5 online.

Although you will not physically receive your duck, it will be entered in the Dainty Duck Dash for a chance to win $1000 cash for the first place duck.

$500 will be awarded for second place and $250 for third. Winners do not need to be present to win.

Visit the website to start your duck in training today for the big race.

For more information, call (505) 632-7649 or go to http://www.ducksforbucks.org/

**Taken from the Farmington, New Mexico Daily Times**

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