Home automation company Vivint is running a contest to award $1.25 million in funding to various charities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
As of Tuesday afternoon, FAST was in the lead for the $250,000 grand prize, with more than 14,000 votes. Vivint will announce a winner Aug. 20.
Yvonne Hamrick, of Fort Worth, TX, entered FAST into the contest, which she discovered last year.
“I’m just a mom and saw this as something I could do,” she said.
While Hamrick's 7-year-old son Joshua has Angelman, she said even people without a direct connection to the disease are responding resoundingly to the contest.
Children with Angelman are unable to speak and often experience motor delays. Some, such as Joshua, can’t walk. They are also more prone to seizures, one of the leading causes of death in Angelman patients.
Yet despite the challenges they face, people with Angelman are also characterized by a remarkably positive, sunny disposition.
“Our kids are so happy and just draw people into their world,” Hamrick said.
Guagliardo, who serves as FAST’s chief financial officer, said she’s seen the same thing, with people all over the world voting to support FAST.
“People are really rallying together and the community is becoming much tighter and larger as a result,” Guagliardo said. “This has been unbelievable for awareness already, and there are [nine weeks] left.”