Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach
Club 4360, District 6970

 
 
Recently, the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club welcomed guest speaker Ingrid Harding, founder of Girl Power 2 Cure and the Rett Syndrome Research Trust. Ingrid and her husband Dr. Peter Harding, a physician at Baptist Medical Center Nassau, started Girl Power 2 Cure in 2006 shortly after their daughter, Sarah, was diagnosed with the devastating neurological disorder that almost exclusively affects girls. Ingrid said Rett Syndrome randomly strikes sometime between the ages of one and three, robbing the girls of their ability to speak, walk and use their hands. Although science is still uncertain why some girls are struck down by Rett, the cause is known. Rett girls suffer a mutation on the MECP2 gene, Ingrid said. This gene normally produces a protein in the brain which controls thousands of other genes, but girls who develop Rett Syndrome cannot produce enough protein to function normally. Ingrid added that the syndrome is not contagious and it is not hereditary. Complications can include seizures, scoliosis and death. Medical advances toward a cure for Rett Syndrome are moving forward, according to Ingrid. She said that Girl Power 2 Cure’s mission is not only to support Rett families as they struggle with this devastating disease, but to apply all of the funds they raise through the organization and the Rett Syndrome Research Trust toward making Rett Syndrome the first fully reversible neurological disease in history.