Hayden's Hope

Thursday, June 26, 2014

25th Anniversary of the International FOP Association

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) is one of the rarest, most disabling genetic conditions known to medicine. It causes bone to form in muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues. Bridges of extra bone develop across joints, progressively restricting movement and forming a second skeleton that imprisons the body in bone.  

In the US, a disease is considered rare if it is believed to affect fewer than 200,000 Americans. Currently there are 285 confirmed cases of FOP  in the United States and 800 cases world wide. 

In 1988 the International FOP Association (IFOPA) was started by one amazing person afflicted with FOP, Jeannie Peeper.  

As a young woman, Jeannie knew that there must be other people with her condition out there and wanted to be able to connect with them.  

For someone with a rare disease isolation is typical, however Jeannie persevered and started a pen pal group with the few people that she knew also had FOP.

Through Jeannie's efforts and those of numerous volunteers, today there are 500 members of the IFOPA worldwide representing over 50 countries.  

Through Jeannie's vision, today the IFOPA provides education, member support, advocacy and research funds to the FOP lab at University of Pennsylvania.  In 2006, the lab at University of Pennsylvania discovered the FOP gene  and today continues to do groundbreaking research on the quest to find a cure for FOP.

Hayden's Hope is proud to fundraise on behalf on the International FOP Association.

Please click here to read an exclusive and amazing interview with Jeannie Peeper, the founder of the IFOPA.  
Jeanie Peeper, founder of the IFOPA  and Dr. Frederick Kaplan, head of the FOP Lab

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