Dr. Kellen Hassell is a professor at Florida International University in Miami. He is a man on a mission to create awareness for Angelman Syndrome. His four-year-old son Luc has the genetic condition.
Kellen will embark on a 1,000 mile cycling journey from Miami, Florida to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s to raise awareness and money for the debilitating syndrome. His parent's Bonnie and Kipp have had their reservations about Kellen's journey for fear of his safety, but know Kellen's cause reaches so many people with children struggling to cope with this condition.
"It's something he has to do, it’s a good thing for him to do. I couldn't think of a better child to do it for even though it's not just for Luc or a better guy to do it,” says Kipp.
Kellen's 1,000 mile journey will end at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he plans on meeting with researchers at the Angelman clinic there.
Libby Malphrus is a Genetic Counselor at Memorial University Hospital. She has treated children with Angelman syndrome.
"Angelman syndrome is associated with severe and profound developmental disabilities. These are not children that have mild disabilities, these are children and adults with severe disabilities both physically and mentally,” said Malphrus.
Kellen will make a stop in Savannah on his way up to North Carolina. So far he has raised over $12,000. All of the proceeds will go to Angelman research..