|Meet Carly, or Carly-Q as she is affectionately called, the inspiration|
behind RealityTotes.com. Photo courtesy of Ellen Pasko
A few months ago while I was roaming around on Twitter I noticed I had a new follower with the name @RealityTotes. I checked it out and found an amazing cause that I instantly fell in love with, and I want to share it with all of you!
Reality Totes, “The Race to Cure Progeria,” was founded by Ellen Pasko. Progeria is a rare fatal disease that ages children 7-8 times faster than normal. Children are born looking healthy, but begin to show signs of Progeria, by about 18-24 months of age. Progeria signs include growth failure, loss of body fat and hair, aged-looking skin, stiffness of joints, hip dislocation, generalized atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. Sadly, the average lifespan for these children is only 13 years.
After being unable to work, Ellen decided to take up charity work, and with 37 years of sewing experience and 20 years of making bags, she knew this would be a perfect way to make money for Progeria research, and one little girl in particular, Carly.
Ellen is friends with Carly’s cousin, Mike Trzcinski, and this is how she initially got involved. When Mike told Ellen about the disease, and his little cousin, Ellen “knew [she] found the cause [she] wanted to help!”
Carly, or Carly-Q as she is known to many, was diagnosed with Progeria in April of 2011, at 10 months of age. There are only 80 children in the world, 18 in the United States, diagnosed with Progeria, and Carly was number 80. The chances of a child being born with Progeria are 1 in 8 million.
By the time Carly is 10 years old, her body will be that of an 80 year old woman, unless they can find a cure that will slow down this aging process, or cure progeria all together. There is hope that an upcoming drug trial will help these children live longer. This trial comes with a price tag of $3.5 million dollars, and that is why Ellen started realitytotes.com.
Realitytotes.com started out with reality TV stars, mostly from the TV show Big Brother, but one night Ellen and Mike came up with the idea of having “racing gals” pose with the bags, making it a 'Race to cure Progeria.'
“It’s kind of ironic but this disease is a reality, so Reality Totes fits in another way,” says Ellen.
|Modeling my new tote bag.|
Tammy Kahne, Natalie Sather, Emma Blaney, Shannon Saldana, Kaitlyn Vincie, and Erin Crocker Evernaham are just a few of the ladies involved, but of course they are looking for as many “racing gals” as they can to join the cause.
RealityTotes.com launched in September 2011. Ellen says things moved slowly at first, but are moving very steadily now. I just received my bags last week and I love them! They are super cute, and I have gotten plenty of compliments on them already. I know it will not be my last order, that’s for sure!
I absolutely love children, in fact, I studied Early Childhood for two years in college, and reading about Progeria, and Carly-Q’s story especially, touched my heart.
These bags are cute, and functional, and I strongly encourage you to head over and take a look, and place an order. All of the proceeds are donated to the Progeria Research Foundation in honor of Carly-Q.
Don’t forget to follow @realitytotes on Twitter, and to learn more about Carly and Progeria, visit:
Spread the word everyone, and “Together we WILL find a cure!”
Holly Strain is bringing her spin on the NASCAR world to Skirts and Scuffs, as she says, it is The Great American Sport through the eyes of a single girl. Holly is a Canadian born writer currently studying Publicity and Public Relations through the University of Toronto. Feel free to contact Holly on Twitter.