Petland donates $20,000 to Project Alive
Donation to help fund clinical trials
(Chillicothe, OH, October 19, 2018) – Petland was honored to provide Project Alive with a check for $20,000 to help fund clinical trials. Petland stores in Southern Florida along with Petland, Inc. raised money through donations and drives in September.
Hunter Syndrome (MPS II) is a rare genetic disease that affects less than 500 boys in the United States, which leads to progressive damage. Some never develop speech, but some boys learn like a typical child then begin losing skills and what they’ve learned at a young age. They eventually lose the ability to walk, talk and eat. Most do not live to see their teen years.
Gene therapy, a revolutionary new approach to treating genetic diseases, may provide the cure these boys desperately need. Researchers are in the final stages of developing the first gene therapy clinical trial for boys with Hunter Syndrome. Project Alive, a 501c3 organization, aims to fund the trials and bring us one step closer to a cure.
Southern Florida Petland Franchisee Luis Marquez had the opportunity to meet this family and others touched by this rare condition and gifted therapy dogs to three of the young boys diagnosed with Hunter’s Syndrome (https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Boy-Fighting-Rare-Genetic-Disease-Hunter-Syndrome-Gifted-Therapy-Dog-487000591.html).
Sebastian’s parents are part of Project Alive, working to raise money for a clinical trial. Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio are in the final stages of developing the first trial for boys with Hunter Syndrome. It is the most promising cure out there and it is ready to go when the funding is reached. The cost for the trials is $2.5 million.
“Petland Florida stands shoulder to shoulder with our partners at Project Alive,” said Marquez. “The fight against Hunter Syndrome is time-sensitive, we need everyone’s help! Our goal with this donation is to get other corporations and businesses involved in helping fund the cure while these beautiful children still have time.”
After meeting with Sebastian and his parents, Marquez introduced the family to Petland’s corporate team. He was planning fundraisers at his five Petland stores and asked the corporate office to join in the effort. Together, Petland was able to raise $20,000.
“After meeting Sebastian and his family and understanding how devastating this disease is and how important these trials are to families affected by Hunter’s Syndrome, we were eager to help raise funds,” said Elizabeth Kunzelman, Petland’s Director of Public Affairs. “Petland has a strong history of supporting organizations that help children and this effort really touched everyone.”
For more information about Hunter’s Syndrome and Project Alive, please visit projectalive.org.
Safari Stan’s Children’s Charities by Petland was formalized in 1994. Petland has two children’s charities – Make-A-Wish and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Annually, Petland collects funds year-round for St. Jude, collecting nearly $500,000 since 2009; and, since 1998 has fulfilled more than 350 wishes for Make-A-Wish kids who wish to have a pet.
Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with quality, full service retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and El Salvador. For more than 50 years, Petland Pet Counselors have been dedicated to matching the right pet with the right person and meeting the needs of both. To its customers who already have pets, Petland is dedicated to enhancing their knowledge and enjoyment of the human-animal bond. Petland was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in south central Ohio. For more information on Petland, visit www.petland.com.