Family who lost 3 kids uses tragedy to raise awareness

DENVER – It's a story that is so tragic that it's hard to imagine.

A family with four seemingly healthy, happy children that are growing up doing what all kids do: playing and laughing with friends, going to school, competing in sports.

Then, they find out that three of the four have a very rare and always fatal neurological disease.

That's what happened to one family.

It's why their mom adopted a quote by Robert Goddard that keeps her going: "The dream of yesterday is the hope of today ... and the reality of tomorrow."

This disease called Niemann-Pick C, or NP-C.

NP-C is a genetic, neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive deterioration of the nervous system.

The kids were the grandchildren of legendary Notre Dame Football Coach Ara Parseghian.

And even though those three children have passed away, their memory fuels a research effort at Notre Dame to find a cure.

Millions of dollars have been raised by Mike and Cindy Parseghian to find the research, but more is needed.

While the research has been promising, there is still no cure for NP-C.

That brings us to the cross-country bicycle ride by Gregory Crawford that stopped in Denver Tuesday morning.

Greg is the Dean of the College of Science and a physics professor at Notre Dame, and this is his fifth ride to raise awareness and money for NP-C research.

Greg's goal is to ride from New York to California and raise $1 million.

If you would like to help, or need more information on the Parseghian family and NP-C, follow the links below:

Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation

Dean Greg Crawford's Blog

Notre Dame Niemann-Pick Type C Research

(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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