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Old Thu Oct 26, 2006, 03:06 AM
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Mother-Daughter Hike Raises Funds and Awareness

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Patty and Robin at the AA&MDSIF 2006 Patient & Family Conference in Nashville

On Friday, October 27, 2006, aplastic anemia survivor Robin Grapa and her mother Patty Laatsch will complete their hike across the United States, to raise money and awareness for bone marrow failure diseases. They are the first mother-and-daughter team to complete the American Discovery Trail, taking 9 months to cross 12 states and over 4,600 miles.

Robin and Patty have raised over $100,000 for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation (see publicity page) and spread the message about the need for more research into cures for bone marrow failure diseases. Their two major sponsors have been the 4imprint and Celgene Pharmaceutical companies.

Robin and Patty's website and blog have chronicled their journey from its start at Henlopen, Delaware, on February 4 to its finish at Limantour Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, 35 miles north of San Francisco, California.

On Friday they will be met by supporters, members of the press, and representatives of the AA&MDSIF and the American Discovery Trail. Marrowforums will be there and we'll post photos of the event. Any supporter in the area is invited to attend (directions from San Francisco, PDF map of the park).
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Old Sun Oct 29, 2006, 03:20 AM
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Picture-perfect Day for Hike Finish

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Patty and Robin Complete Our Hike

It was a beautiful California day Friday as Robin Grapa and her mother, Patty Laatsch, came up Limantour Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore to the shouts and cheers of waiting family members and supporters.

The weary but excited hikers waved to the crowd that had gathered there to celebrate their arrival. Robin and Patty posed with the American Discovery Trail and AA&MDSIF "Our Hike" banners that marked the finish of their cross-country journey. Then they took off their hiking boots and marched straight into the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

John Fazel, Vice President of American Discovery Trail, presented Robin and Patti with a plaque commemorating their achievement.

Ruth Cuadra, representing the AA&MDSIF, spoke about the significance of the hike and the hope it has given to patients and families struggling with bone marrow failure diseases. She thanked Robin and Patti for helping to spread awareness and raise funds for much-needed research.

You can see photos of the event in the Marrowforums Photo Gallery.

As of Friday, over $106,000 had been raised, and fundraising continues. The AA&MDSIF staffers have now offered to shave their heads if the "Our Hike" fund reaches $500,000 by the end of 2006. See the web page or flyer (PDF format) for details.
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