Why A-T Awareness Month Is Important To Me
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Why A-T Awareness Month Is Important To Me

Why A-T Awareness Month Is Important To Me
Elsa Chase

What A-T Awareness Month Means to Me

What is A-T? A-T stands for ataxia telangiectasia. This is a terrible disease that affects about a dozen young people in my life that mean the world to me.

The National Cancer Institute describes A-T as "a primary immunodeficiency disease that affects a number of different organs in the body. An immunodeficiency disease is one that causes the immune system to break down, making the body susceptible to diseases. It is a rare, recessive genetic disorder of childhood that occurs in between 1 out of 40,000 and 1 out of 100,000 persons worldwide. The ailment is progressive. Patients with A-T are frequently wheelchair-bound by their teens, and the disease is generally fatal to patients by the time they reach their twenties."

This weekend, I'll be hanging out with about 20 young adults with A-T and their families.

This weekend, also known as Team 25 weekend, is the most important weekend to me all year.

It used to be this big celebrity party that raised a whole bunch of money for the families of children with A-T, but it's not like that anymore. Now, it's more of a small get-together with the families to honor these young people, and to remind them that they are not alone in this battle.

I love these people. I love the young people with A-T, I love their families, I love the friends of the foundation (including Mr. Brad Paisley, but that's just details), and I love the board members.

I know there are more people in this world that have A-T that do not come to this event, and I know there are more that I have not met yet.

I just wanted to take this weeks article to talk about how much I really love these kids!

All of the amazing young people I have met through this foundation has made me want to become a better person myself. They inspire me to go on in life.

I look at some of my friends with A-T and I realize that even though they're terminally ill and will most likely die young if a cure is not found soon, they are some of the most positive, inspiring, and amazing individuals I've ever met!

These young people are accomplishing amazing things in their short lives that I'm not sure if I'll even accomplish in my (hopefully) long life!

I have lost more than enough friends from A-T, and I would do anything to find a cure. I'd do anything to see my friends walk again, to see them not so sick.

I'd be lying if I said losing some of these people I've lost wasn't hard, but I'm so blessed to have each and every one of them in my life. I miss the people I've lost everyday, but it makes me happy to think about even though it's been hard, I have met some really cool people over the last 15 years being involved with this organization.

Getting back to this weekend, I'm so ready to cause shenanigans with my girl Katie. I'm so ready to kiss all my boys (Tyler and Joel, I'm talking to you!), and I'm ready to see all of the beautiful people I've missed all year!

So without further ado, I should really get back to packing and getting ready to see my A-T family!

Watch out you "kids", (and yes, I'm talking to all of you) I'm coming for you this weekend.

I'd like to encourage you all to please check out www.atcp.org. The A-T children's project is a project dedicated to finding a cure for this disease.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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