Rare blood disease attacks the bone

This September marks the 3rd Who is amy? gala to benefit education at the University of Colorado Medical School and the Mayo Clinic’s research efforts to find a cure for amyloidosis—a rare blood disease in which amyloid proteins are abnormally deposited in organs and/or tissues which then interfere with normal body function and many times can be fatal.

Founded by three sisters, Becca Barry, Shelley Cooper and Sarah Cooper, Who is amy? is an organization that supports research efforts and raises awareness about the rare blood disease amyloidosis. Dealing with their father Mike Cooper’s diagnosis of amyloidosis and struggling with the horrifying fact that there was (and still is) no cure, the sisters selflessly founded the non-profit dedicated to the development of amyloidosis research. “Contributing to research may lead to improved treatment and eventually a cure for amyloidosis and other blood related diseases and cancers, ” the sisters and Who is amy? founders hope, as stated on the website.

Affected by their father’s battle with amyloidosis, diagnosed in 2003 and currently in remission, the three sisters realized that their father’s situation hit them harder than expected, with more than just a desire for his regained health and wellbeing but a need to make a difference. Grateful for their father’s recovery and survival but eager to do more, the creation of Who is amy? allowed for greater awareness in their community and nationwide as well as a venue for questions about the disease, what they could do and really understand how to make a difference. The organization became an outlet for them to transfer their emotions into tangible, positive progress.

After encountering limited answers within the medical community, and ongoing doctor visits and misdiagnoses, the Cooper sisters took action in hopes that they could raise awareness, bring a greater understanding to the disease and be a resource for those struggling with the rare amyloidosis. They are committed to promoting health and awareness and supporting research for an amyloidosis cure.

Although the orgaization is Denver-based—two of the sisters are CU Boulder grads and all three currently live in Denver, the sisters hope Who is amy? will have an extended reach and great impact by aiding amyloidosis research and support those suffering from the disease.

“Through these efforts, I hope that patients suffering from amyloidosis and related blood cancers will have better treatment options and researchers will ultimately find a cure, ” said Becca Barry, one of the Who is amy? founders. By raising awareness and funds, Who is amy? is working to empower doctors and researchers nationwide to find a cure for amyloidosis.

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