Help HSHT’s Josh Fight Freidreich’s Ataxia

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 11.37.34 PMTo all of our CILNCF consumers and friends: Please read this message from the parent of one of our High School High Tech students and join us in supporting a great cause!

​Dear Friends,

I wanted to invite you to a fundraiser we are hosting on April 11, 2015 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at the Town of Tioga Club House. It is a Wine, Cheese and Silent Auction Fundraiser to benefit the UF Foundation and specifically a gene therapy clinical trial that Josh is a part of. We are very excited about this research because it could be a potential cure but, sadly it is underfunded at the moment.

The tickets are $50 and all proceeds go directly to this research headed by Dr. Barry Byrne and Dr. Manuela Corti. We are limiting the number of guests to 100 due to space and wanted to make sure you had the chance to order tickets if you were able to attend. Please email me if you would like tickets and I will deliver them! Checks can be made out directly to the UF Foundation.

If you are unable to attend this event please consider a tax free donation to help with this cause. You can give directly online at or visit to find out more information. We are all very optimistic and hope you will share in our excitement. Please help keep this research going. Your donations have the potential to save our children’s lives.


Here’s a little more information from HSHT Director, Melissa Merrill

“Josh is a senior at Buchholz High School and he was diagnosed with Freidreich’s Ataxia at the age of 10 which affects his heart and nerves. This is a progressive disease that has drastically affected Josh’s ability to walk without falling and to use his hands to write, tie his shoes, or open doors. Josh use to be very athletic, but is no longer able to play sports and this year got his first wheelchair. This disease can also cause more severe problems like diabetes and heart problems which will most likely shorten his life span. Despite all of this, Josh is the happiest person you will ever meet. He never complains, he’s always positive and enthusiastic, and is always looking for ways to help others. Josh works part time at TJ Maxx and is a fantastic student. He is hoping to go on to be an engineer and completed an internship last year with a civil engineering firm who praised him for his wonderful work on their CAD programs. I can’t say enough about what an amazing person Josh is and how excited he and his family is at the potential for a cure that will allow Josh to be more independent. Please take some time to check out Josh’s video and pass along to your contacts. Thanks so much!!”