Ataxia is the loss of coordination during voluntary movement. There are several types of ataxia with different levels of severity and affect, and it can develop within all life stages. Ataxia is known as a rare condition but it affects roughly 150,000 people in the United States1. There is no known cure for ataxia but several foundations and research centers have been established to support the ataxia cause, raise awareness and search for a cure. North Star contributes annually to the National Ataxia Foundation. In 2012, North Star donated $45,000 to the National Ataxia Foundation research study.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50-80% of dementia cases2. It is a progressive disease and although it is most common in the later stages of life, it can still affect a person much earlier in age. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s but treatments for symptoms are available and can help improve the quality of life. Extensive research is put forth among many organizations to uncover a cure, further treatments, and Alzheimer’s prevention.
To assist with the Alzheimer’s cause and prevention, North Star created the Scott Richards North Star Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Research Fund. In association with the Minnesota Medical Foundation, this fund supports research efforts aimed at preventing Alzheimer's disease through the University of Minnesota Medical School's N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care. The research fund focuses on the cause and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and is funded by a gift of $250,000 from our Foundation and an additional matching gift of $200,000 from the Securian Foundation.
A Non-Profit Public Benefit Foundation, aims to help boys and girls ages 6-10. Many of the children come from broken homes where one or both parents may be missing, out of a job, or unsure of where the next meal is coming from. Through this program, bikes, locks, helmets, and baskets are given to children in need at a carnival type event planned especially for them and their families.
Breast cancer is well recognized as a growing health concern in the United States. It is estimated in 2013 there will be 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 39,620 breast cancer deaths3. Awareness walk-a-thons or races along with support merchandise are arranged to help support the cause and the people suffering from this condition. Research centers and programs are committed to identifying a cure to breast cancer or develop and maintaining healthy, quality care.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States5. A defective gene causes the body to produce an abnormally thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. These thick secretions also obstruct the pancreas, preventing digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to help break down and absorb food.
Myelofibrosis (MF) is a bone marrow disorder that can lead to a serious form of leukemia. It involves a defect in the bone marrow that overproduces or underproduces blood cells. Within the United States, there are about 16,000-18,500 people with myelofibrosis4. Affecting both men and women, this disorder can occur at any age but has been found most commonly between 50-80 years old.
1National Ataxia Foundation
3Susan G. Komen for the Cure
5Cystic Fibrosis Foundation