Race the Helix Organizers Present Check to SC Birth Defects Foundation

race_checkDecember 28, 2011 - The 1st annual Race the Helix 5K, 1 Mile Run/Walk brought together over 150 participants and volunteers this fall to raise support and awareness for the SC Birth Defects Foundation at the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC).

As the first benefit race of its kind held on-site at GGC, Race the Helix raised over $3,600 for the SC Birth Defects Foundation, the fundraising arm of GGC.

"What started out as a vision to help other families dealing with genetic disorders or birth defects has become an event embraced by our community," said Stephen and Jodi Shenal, coordinators of Race the Helix and parents of 7-year-old Tyler and 1-year-old Ryleigh who has been under the Center's care since 9 weeks due to a rare chromosome deletion. The Shenals presented the check, on behalf of the Greenwood Endurance Team, to GGC Director, Dr. Steve Skinner, and GGC Laboratory Director, Dr. Mike Friez, on Wednesday.

As a widely recognized resource for their work in medical genetics, clinical research and treatment services for genetic disease, GGC assists over 25,000 patients and families a year in a number of ways. In Ryleigh's case, both an engaged clinical team along with expert laboratory faculty played a role in identifying her chromosome deletion and likewise, understanding the mechanisms and causes of her challenges.

Because of the immeasurable impact GGC has made on Ryleigh's development and progress, the Shenals felt compelled to deliver their own message of support and hope to other families facing a genetic diagnosis. "Our goal is to help garner awareness and support within our community for the families who will need GGC in the future—because not too long ago, we were that family."

With the help of funds raised through the SC Birth Defects Foundation by events such as Race the Helix, the Center can continue to be at the forefront of research, treatment and prevention for genetic disorders and birth defects.

The 2nd annual Race the Helix is scheduled for October 6th, 2012.

For more information on how you can support the SC Birth Defects Foundation, please visit the Foundation's website.

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