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Luca John Foundation to Work with Local Activist

Local Foundation Seeks to Raise Awareness, Funds for Skeletal Disorders

Ewing, NJ, December 14, 2007 — The Luca John Foundation announced today that it will be seeking ways to join forces with Gary Whyte, an activist working to help find a cure for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or FOP. The two are looking at ways to assist children with skeletal and musculoskeletal disorders, as well as to fund research aimed at curing skeletal malformations.

Whyte, who is also associated with the Weldon FOP Research Fund, has worked for the last few years raising awareness and funds for research at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. FOP, a rare genetic disorder, causes skeletal muscles and connective tissue to change into bone and affects only 2500 individuals worldwide, but is one of the most debilitating conditions one can possess. The FOP Research Laboratory at the University Pennsylvania has made great strides in FOP research and in April of 2006, had even pinpointed the gene that causes FOP.

To locate the gene that causes the lethal short rib polydactyl syndrome (SRPS), and other forms of skeletal dysplasia, is also one of the main goals of The Luca John Foundation. Founded by Kevin Baranowski and his wife Nicole after the death of their son, Luca, the foundation aims to raise awareness, assist and support families with skeletal disorders, and to provide bereavement assistance to families who have lost an infant younger than 12 months old.

For more information please visit http://lucajohnfoundation.org.

About The Luca John Foundation:

The Luca John Foundation, a New Jersey based 501c(3) charity, was founded in 2006. It was established to raise funds for research and awareness for various forms of skeletal dysplasia, including short rib polydactyl syndrome (SRPS). It also provides financial assistance for burial and funeral costs to families who have lost a child younger than 12 months old or have had a stillbirth.

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