With all the significant scientific advancements presented, at the end of the symposium it was the people with Friedreich’s ataxia who gave the research meaning and value.

They were people like Holly LeBlanc, who for eight months traveled back and forth from Holland, MI, to USF to participate in a pilot clinical trial testing effects of the drug varenicline on neurological symptoms of Friedreich’s ataxia.  She was back again August 26, with her mother and service dog Delsie, to attend the second annual scientific symposium hosted by the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and the USF Ataxia Research Center.  Building on last year’s momentum, the “Cultivating a Cure” symposium drew scientists, clinicians and patients from across the country.

Read More: Symposium participants optimistic about finding first treatment for Friedreich's ataxia