DART “Walk to the Finish” Set for October 6

Andrea and Andrew Marella.

Registration is open for the first-ever Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DART) Walk to the Finish on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at Tod’s Point.

This event will be fun for the whole family and help raise crucial funds for Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC).

“NPC is a rare and fatal, cholesterol storage disease affecting children and is often called children’s Alzheimer’s,” said Phil Marella, co-founder of DART.

Marella said his family founded DART after two of their four children, Dana and Andrew, were diagnosed with NPC.

Dana sadly passed away at the age of 19 in 2013, but there is hope for Andrew, the youngest Marella child, who just turned 19 and has been in a clinical trial that DART has helped fund.

“He is doing much better than Dana was in her late teens, but is still battling seizures and has walking and swallowing issues,” he said.

Most children who suffer from NPC die in their early teens from the disease, but DART is helping to change that fate.

As an all-volunteer organization, funds raised at DART events are channeled directly into supporting pivotal NPC research – research that may also help millions of people suffering from HIV/Aids, Ebola, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that appear to be related to cholesterol.

“We are so grateful to this community for all their support over these difficult years,” said Andrea Marella. “Without them, we would not have the treatments that bring us closer to a cure.”

DART typically holds a large fundraiser every other year and has hosted musical performers including Gladys Knight, Kenny Loggins, The Beach Boys, Frankie Valli, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, America, Richard Dreyfuss and Rob Mathes, who have all performed at the DART Gala Benefits.

Past supporters and attendees at DART’s annual fundraisers include Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, Joy and Regis Philbin, Cheryl and Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Sonny Grosso, Phil Ramone, Richard LaGravenese, Florence Henderson, Chynna Phillips, Billy Baldwin and Kenny Loggins and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas fame. This the first year DART is holding a Walk.

DART is particularly proud of its commitment as a founding member of a unique, collaborative drug development program called SOAR-NPC or Support Of Accelerated Research. Working with other NPC families and research institutions, SOAR’s collaborators have four clinical trials already to their credit. To learn more about Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DART) or to register for the DART WALK TO THE FINISH, visit danasangels.org