Hopkinsville Girl Battling Rare Syndrome is Focus of International Campaign of Goodwill

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Six-year-old Lauren Lachance, of Hopkinsville, KY, is drawing international attention by way of an organization called SpreadKarma.org (http://www.spreadkarma.org) as she battles an extremely rare disease known as McCune-Albright Syndrome (MAS).

Six-year-old Lauren Lachance, of Hopkinsville, KY, is drawing international attention by way of an organization called SpreadKarma.org (http://www.spreadkarma.org) as she battles an extremely rare disease known as McCune-Albright Syndrome (MAS).

Lachance was diagnosed in September, 2006. MAS is a genetic disease affecting the bones and pigmentation of the skin. It can also cause hormonal problems and premature sexual development. MAS can worsen as a child grows, causing fractures and severe deformities. Though there are no hard figures regarding prevalence of the syndrome, The Magic Foundation (http://www.magicfoundation.org), a national non-profit organization that provides support services for families of children afflicted with a wide variety of disorders, suggests on their website that MAS afflicts as few as 400 people in the US and only a few thousand worldwide. There is no known cure or treatment for the disease.

Currently, Lauren's bones are affected with fibrous dysplasia, (one element of the disease) which affects the fibrous tissue growth in bones causing major susceptibility to fractures. As a result, Lauren's doctors have told her she cannot run, jump, ride her bike, participate in sporting activities, etc. She was a very active little girl before this diagnosis, and this has severely impacted her. Lauren's endocrine system is also affected by MAS, causing her to gain weight easily. Doctors have told Lauren and her family that the only safe means of exercise for her is swimming. The Lachance family is hoping to install a pool in their home in the near future, so Lauren may get sufficient exercise year-round. Construction costs are substantial, and the family is planning a series of fund-raisers to help with this effort.

Lauren became the focus of SpreadKarma.org's very first kindness action through a recommendation from a friend. Organization members from around the US and Canada were asked to send the girl positive reinforcement in the form of cards, gifts or monetary donations in the hopes of showing her encouragement and assisting in the family's fundraising efforts.

About SpreadKarma.org

SpreadKarma.org was founded in March of 2007, and is based in Sarasota, FL. The organization's primary mission is to spread positive energy throughout the world using random acts of kindness. Each month, the group finds someone who is in need of an anonymous pick-me-up, encouragement or congratulations, and sends an email to all subscribers with simple instructions on how they can perform a random act of kindness for this person. The requests are simple, but subscribers can often participate on several levels, depending on their desire and/or ability.

In the first month, SpreadKarma.org's membership grew to include members from 12 states and Canada. SpreadKarma.org is free to join, with no membership fees or any other commitment - financial or otherwise. Members participate on a voluntary basis, and their actions of kindness may remain completely anonymous. Subscribers may join at http://www.spreadkarma.org.

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ELSIE GILMORE
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