In November, Sara Ferrarone, of Rochester, New York, died at 26 following a lifelong struggle with Friedreich’s Ataxia.

Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a debilitating neuromuscular disease that entails gradual loss of all mobility, progressively worsening speech dysfunction, hearing loss and vision loss. Sara’s younger sister, Laura— one of my oldest friends and an extraordinary young woman— also has FA.

Shortly after Sara’s death, I reached out to a fellow senior, Galen Dole, and a member of the talented acapella group (the University of Rochester YellowJackets) to see if the Jackets might be willing to lend their voices to a cause. It was coincidence that Galen’s 19-year-old sister and a promising film student, Marlise Dole, has FA as well. With that discovery of an unlikely connection, Concert for a Cure came about.

Read More: Fundraising for Friedreich’s Ataxia: Concert for a Cure was a Huge Success