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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

CACNA1A 5k raises funds, spirits

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Over the weekend the local Greathouse family hosted the CACNA1A 5k at the Artesia Aquatic Center, which raised funds for the CACNA1A Foundation. 

CACNA1A is a genetic variant which causes a range of diseases of the nervous system, detailed in a previous article. Emarie Greathouse, 4, of Artesia, suffers from this genetic disease, which has extremely limited treatment options and no known cure.

This weekend’s CACNA1A 5k was the third annual race for the cause, with races occurring both live and virtually beginning the morning of May 20th and ending at midnight on Sunday, May 21st. True to the heart of the foundation, all live events were hosted by families affected by the disease, each of which organized a team dedicated to their kin.

More than 46 teams registered for the event, totaling more than 850 people from the US, Canada, France, Italy, Australia, and the UK. True to the heart of the City of Champions, Artesia’s team, Emarie’s Encanto, raised more than any other team across the world. Emarie’s Encanto raised $17,506 of the total $114,000 generated globally for the CACNA1A foundation.

According to a source within the board of the foundation, these funds will be directed towards a gene therapy proof-of-concept study, an anti-sense oligonucleotide proof-of-concept study, a drug repurposing project, a study that will characterize the genetic variants and their specific effects on the diseased gene, and other smaller research programs directed towards raising awareness and finding a cure.

From March 1st through May 20th, the Greathouse family organized fundraising efforts through their business, Pecos Valley Productions. Customers donated one dollar at a time for a chance to win giveaway baskets, and employees competed to see who could generate the most donations.

Although the Artesia branch of PVP is in a city with a smaller population and generally has fewer gross sales than many other branches, Artesia proudly raised more than any other store, winning a trophy that is now displayed in the store front.

The Greathouse family commented on the community’s participation in fundraising efforts and the 5k race, saying the results are “a testament to the power of community action and the positive impact that collective effort can have on global social causes. Thank you, Artesia, from the bottom of our hearts.”

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