SkateAthon planned for research into rare disease

By Rosalind Russell – An Espanola family is getting support from the larger community to raise funds for research into a rare disease that has affected their daughter.

Iris Mae was born just over a year ago to Alex and Kelsey McKechnie of Espanola and at three months of age, was diagnosed with Pompe Disease.

Kelsey says it is a rare, inherited disease that affects the heart and skeletal muscles because of a mutation in the gene.

She says Iris receives treatment every week, but there is no cure so they are hosting a Skate A Thon in February to raise funds for the research branch of Duke University in the U.S.

Kelsey adds the day will include a raffle, an outdoor barbecue, kid’s craft table and games as well as skating at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex (on the oval – weather permitting, inside the complex otherwise) on February 25th starting at 10:30 am.

Pledges and donations can be made on the website with the link available on our websites.

The Beer Store in Espanola is also collecting empties throughout the month of January.

The Espanola Lions Club is hosting the barbecue on skate day to also help out the cause.

For registration information or to donate, visit:

Photo: Iris Mae McKechnie, the daughter of Alex and Kelsey McKechnie of Espanola was born September 1st of last year, but at three months of age was diagnosed with  Pompe Disease. Although treatable, there is no cure, so a major Skate A Thon is being held to raise money for research. Photos provided by the McKechnies.

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