NEW DURHAM TOWNSHIP — Paula and Tom Hook had 95 guests at their New Durham Township home this weekend, many of them using wheelchairs. The guests fished and used the family swimming pool. They tie-dyed T-shirts and enjoyed meals and snacks. They talked and laughed together.

Some came from as far away as New England. One man traveled from Paris.

All were affected in one way or another with what is known as an orphan disease – Friedreich’s Ataxia, which causes loss of coordination in arms and legs, fatigue, vision impairment, hearing loss and slurred speech, aggressive curvature of the spine, diabetes and a serious heart condition.

The get-together was called FA Woodstock at the Flying H Ranch. It was the second event.

“We hope soon to be celebrating a cure at one of these gatherings,” Paula said.

“Last year, we had 30 people,” she added. “This year: 95.”

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