PANDA continues efforts to improve, cure childhood diseases with April event

A picture from the 2017 PANDA event. Pictured is Livvy Fincham, Ella Louis and Tatum Liston. (file photo)

Fox Restaurant Concepts has become the first title sponsor of the 19th annual PANDA “Children Helping Children” Fashion Show and Luncheon which will be held on Saturday, April 14.

The luncheon is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn, 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, in Scottsdale.

This year’s event will benefit epilepsy and feature 55 models, a live and silent auction and raffle, according to a press release.

“Anytime we have an opportunity to help the PANDA community and the children they care for, we take it,” said FRC founder Sam Fox in a prepared statement. “The Steele Research Center at the University of Arizona is conducting ground-breaking research that is being shared around the country. It’s touching the lives of so many people and it’s our pleasure to support PANDA. The Steele Research Center is an incredible resource for our community and state.”

Sam Fox

PANDA — People Acting Now Discover Answers — has raised over $9 million to improve treatments and cures for devastating childhood diseases as well as fund and recruit internationally recognized pediatric physicians and scientists to Arizona, providing families with the most cutting-edge medical care, the press release stated.

This research project will explore both the basic science and clinical aspects of epilepsy with an emphasis on children diagnosed as infants or at an early age. The goal is to develop a new paradigm for treatment through research, including whole genome sequencing, examination of structural brain disorders, and exploration of metabolic issues.

“For 2018, our goal is to support The Steele Center’s research to solve the heartbreaking mysteries associated with epilepsy in very young children,” Jacque Linaman, PANDA board president said in a prepared statement.

“Epilepsy in America is as common as breast cancer, and takes as many lives. There are 200,000 new cases each year, and more than 3 million Americans are affected by the disease. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological problem –only migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease occur more frequently.”

Epilepsy that first occurs in adults and older children is diagnosable and generally responds well to medication, the press release stated. But when epilepsy appears in infancy or in young children, it shows up as a set of complex disorders without a clear cause, resulting in perplexing conditions that are very stressful for the affected children and their parents.

Infantile epilepsy can be the result of many factors, including genetics, metabolic problems, and structural brain issues. Experiencing uncontrollable seizures can be catastrophic for the developing brain, making the search for a cure to help children live seizure-free lives critically important.

The PANDA Children’s Epilepsy Project will support the Steele Center’s exploration, in partnership with Rady Children’s Genomic Institute in San Diego, of both a basic science and clinical approach focusing on children who had their first epileptic event as babies and young children.

The Rady team will provide whole genome sequencing for children, and the Steele team will investigate genetic mutations to determine their functionality and how to treat them. The goal is to develop a new paradigm for treatment of these children through research including whole genome sequencing, and examination of structural brain disorders and metabolic issues.

This year’s fashion show will feature 55 “children helping children” from across the Valley and Tucson dressed in spring fashions provided by Ralph Lauren. The theme for this year’s fashion show is “A Jewel in the Desert.”

Sponsorship and branding opportunities are still available for the 2018 Luncheon.

For more information, visit www.azpanda.org.

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