A semester-long effort to raise awareness and support for research Friedreich’s ataxia, spearheaded by seniors Galen Dole and Sarah Gelbard, is in full swing.

The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) defines the disease as a “debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder.” The most common symptoms of include loss of coordination, fatigue, and aggressive scoliosis. The disease, which is quite rare, affects about 1 in 50,000 people in the U.S.

Gelbard, in the hope of leaving her mark at UR, had the idea to start an annual fundraising campaign for Friedreich’s ataxia, a disease that has profoundly impacted the lives of her best friend and friend’s sister, Laura and Sara Ferrarone.

Read More: Students lead awareness campaign for rare genetic disease, YellowJackets contribute