Dr. and Mrs. Julius L. Leary, Jr., Lynne Leary Lovett, and Kathie Leary Marsh have established the Dianne Patricia Leary Fund for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT)
Neuromuscular Disorders at the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) with a generous gift to the GGC Foundation in memory of their sister who passed away
in April of this year.
Around age two, Dianne began showing symptoms of a neuromuscular disorder, which remained undiagnosed for many years, though clinical features suggested
a form of CMT. CMT comprises a varied group of disorders that cause damage to the peripheral nerves that transmit information and signals between the
central nervous system and the rest of the body. There are dozens of genes that can cause CMT, and numerous subtypes have been identified. GGC was
only recently able to confirm Dianne’s diagnosis of CMT by identifying two gene variants using next-generation sequencing technology. Further studies
confirmed that these variants were causative for CMT.
Dianne was a graduate of Greenwood High School and the University of South Carolina and enjoyed a long career with Duke Energy as a computer analyst in
Charlotte where she lived independently until her retirement.
“Dianne’s determined spirit allowed her to live a productive and independent life,” said Dr. Leary. “She influenced and inspired friends, colleagues, and
family members with her passion and creativity; her life is an example to everyone how using your gifts can maximize your life’s ambition.” The Learys’
gift will be used to further research into neuromuscular disorders like CMT, including ongoing work to investigate CMT4X.
GGC’s clinic space in Greenwood will also be named ‘The Leary Clinic’ in Dianne’s memory.
“It’s fitting that patients who come to GGC will see Dianne’s name when they enter,” said Dr. Leary. “Her perseverance and drive should serve as an inspiration
to all who seek care at GGC to never allow physical limitations to define who you are and what you can achieve.”
“We are humbled to be the recipient of this generous gift to honor Dianne’s life through medical research,” said Steve Skinner, MD
GGC’s Director. “We commit our expertise and the latest technologies available to the better understanding of neuromuscular disorders, including CMT,
to ensure that future generations of patients have quick and clear diagnoses and clear paths for treatment.”