Malibu 5k held at Zuma Beach, raises $7,000 to fight brain illness

(From left) Patty Cline, Linda Fuchser, Kristen Fowler, Steven Grant, Louie Yrigollen, and Paola Limon are shown during the 8th annual Malibu 5K walk and run at Zuma Beach on Sunday, Oct. 2. Elli Kogan was not photographed. Photo courtesy of Linda Fuchser

The Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation held the 8th annual Malibu 5K walk and run at Zuma Beach on Sunday, Oct. 2, and raised $7,000.

In 2004, Malibu local Linda Fuchser was diagnosed with an angioma on the right temporal lobe in her brain. Years later, and now serving as the national community development specialist for Alliance To Cure Cavernous Malformations, Fuchser continues to raise awareness and fundraise for families and ultimately find a cure.

“This year 82 participants gathered at Zuma to help us bring awareness for the rare illness,” Fuchser said. “Judy Kogan is the mother of Elli (patient) who organized this event. We had other patients join from LA county and we were able to raise through our raffle, silent auction, and peer to peer fundraising 7k as well as share with everyone how far we have come since we gathered last.”

A cavernous malformation is a raspberry-shaped abnormal blood vessel in the brain and spinal cord that can hemorrhage and cause strokes, seizures, disability, and even death in both children and adults. People with hereditary forms of the illness can develop many cavernous malformations in a lifetime. Currently, brain or spinal cord surgery is the only treatment. 

Alliance to Cure is working with researchers to develop medications that will prevent hemorrhage and prevent the development of more lesions. 

The funds raised from the event will support Alliance To Cure’s DNA and Tissue bank, patient registry, international scientific meetings, and the development of clinical centers of excellence. 

“The Alliance to Cure received a 600,000 grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we have begun drug trials, and now UCLA has become a center of excellence for patients,” Fuchser said. “We are closer than ever to finding a cure.”

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