Team TSF will be making a brilliant debut in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Friday, September 27. Emma Jankowski of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, will be leading a team called “Ava’s Angels” to honor the host of people who love and support her four year cousin who has a host of health issues resulting from having Turner Syndrome. The race is a unique one as it is a night run that takes place in a closed course where runners hold personal glow devices and a live band sends runners off. There will be a free one mile run before the race for children presented by the City of Waukesha Parks and Recreation and Forestry Department.
Emma, a 17-year-old high school junior who enjoys playing basketball, shopping, spending time with her friends, and outdoors activities will be running the 5K with her parents and friends and is eager to support Ava, the daughter of Donna and Philip Villavicencio of Sparta, New Jersey. Ava was diagnosed when Donna was 20 weeks pregnant with her after a high resolution ultrasound detected some issues and they were encouraged to have an amniocentesis which positively identified Ava as having Turner Syndrome. Emma said, “Ava has experienced many struggles including kidney, heart, and ear issues. She’s had several surgeries, a lot of ear and urinary tract infections, and will eventually need heart surgery. Because of her early diagnosis, she is getting excellent medical care and therapies.”
How has Ava adjusted to living with such a complex condition? Emma described Ava as a tough little girl who is sweet and funny. Ava loves her two year old sister, Lila, and enjoys playing with her and picking on her as well. She is taking gymnastics and swimming lessons and participates like her mother in the New Jersey Marathon Festival at the Shore every year.
Community involvement seems to be in Emma’s blood. She has seen how her aunt, Donna, helps to organize the New Jersey Marathon and other Team TSF events every year and now has been presented with an opportunity to give back herself. Her motivation is personally guided by the pure intention to help other girls like her cousin, Ava, by supporting the initiatives of the Turner Syndrome Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raise awareness and advocate for girls who have this common but uncommonly known chromosomal abnormality.
To participate in the Friday Night Live Lights 5K for the foundation, visit https://tsf.myetap.org/fundraiser/2013FridayNightLights5k/aboutEvent.do. The usual $25 registration fee has been waived for this special race and registrants will receive a Team TSF T-shirt and wristband once they have completed the registration forms. Light up the night and sign up today for this fun night event. To learn more about Team TSF and the Turner Syndrome Foundation, call 1-800-594-4585 or visit www.tsfusa.org.
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