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Furthering medical research, medical education, or medical or hospital care for the treatment or cure of Niemann-Pick Type C disease or similar genetic diseases.
Dana's Angels Research Trust is a non-profit organization that funds research into a rare disease, Niemann-Pick type C (NPC), a fatal, cholesterol storage disease affecting children. Two of the Marella's four children, Dana and Andrew, were afflicted by NPC. Most children who suffer from NPC die in their early teens, but DART has helped change that fate. As an all-volunteer organization, over 95% of the funds expended are channeled directly into supporting pivotal NPC research; research that may also help millions of people suffering from HIV/Aids, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's and other disorders that appear to be related to cholesterol.
Sadly, Dana, the Marella's daughter, at 19 years of age, passed away in the Summer of 2013. When Dana died, she was confined to a wheelchair, no longer talked, suffered from frequent pneumonia and required constant care, but she always had a smile on her face and was an inspiration to many, both here and around the world. The Marella's youngest child, Andrew, is 21, relatively stable right now, although with the passing of his sister, Andrew started having seizures. Andrew has benefited from two experimental medications with more on the way; all due in large part to DART's efforts.
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