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Fight Ataxia Project

Many people around the nation use Labor Day to give special recognition to a neurological disease that has no cure.

Muscular Dystrophy is a disorder that causes muscle weakness over a period of time.

The disease comes in many forms including ALS and Friedreich's Ataxia but because there is no cure research is still being done, which requires funding.

A new fundraiser to raise money for this disease is sparking across the nation, it is similar to the ALS Bucket Challenge but comes in more of a tasty form.

The challenge is to take a video of you or someone else getting pied in the face, then call out three other people to accept the challenge within 48 hours, or they must donate money to the Fight Ataxia Project.

The challenge runs from August 20th to October 4th. If you would like to participate or donate money visit www.fightataxia.org.

Dr. Robert Ballard Coming to Alpena

One of the world's greatest ocean explorers will be coming to Alpena this weekend.

Doctor Robert Ballard will be giving a speech for the Sanctuary Celebration this Saturday, September 6th at National Marine Sanctuary.

Ballard is known for his cutting edge underwater research, discovering lost ships like the Bismarck, JFK's PT109, and the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown; but what Ballard is best known for is discovering the Titanic.

Doctor Ballard was also in Alpena from 2000 to 2002 doing some education work with NOAA when the sanctuary was first opened.

To meet Ballard and hear his speech check out the Sanctuary Celebration going on this Saturday.

Alpena Boy Gets Make A Wish Dream Trip

An Alpena 7th grader is getting ready for his Disney–World dream trip thanks to the Make–A–Wish Foundation.

Christopher Hippensteel was your average kid who loved to be outdoors and play sports. But at age 10 his life changed forever.

"Up until age 10, he was a perfectly normal, everything was fine, no symptoms, said his Father, John Hippensteel. "It started with his thumb shaking, and with his hand tremoring, and it just kind of progressed from there."

Doctors believe that Christopher has Dystonia and Juvenile Parkinson's, but he's been routinely undergoing tests and surgeries to find out his exact condition, and the best way to treat it.

"He has four electrodes and two pace makers to help with the tremors," said his Mother, Sandy Hippensteel.

Before his pace makers Christopher shook violently 24 hours a day, but since then they've been less severe, allowing him to attend school and do some of the activities he enjoyed before his diagnosis.

Christopher and his family have certainly faced obstacles. He will have to face another surgery for his pace makers.

"He's at a high voltage and like John said they're supposed to last seven years, and they're only going to last for a year for him."

And their home is currently not wheelchair accessible.

"It's not set up for those handicapped devices so we're going to end up redoing the bathroom completely to make it handicapped accessible."

However with all the challenges, the family still makes sure to laugh, stay positive and do whatever they can to help Christopher.

On September 27th they'll be holding a fundraiser so they can purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle. They also hope to use the money to get a DynaVox so he can communicate easier.

But before all of the fundraising and upcoming doctor visits, a week–long trip to Disney World from the Make-A-Wish Foundation is something to look forward to.

If you're interested in attending the fundraiser, it will be held on September 27th at the United Methodist Church. You can also stop by the Besser Credit Union to donate to the Christopher Hippensteel fund.

Mackinac Bridge Walk

The 57th annual Mackinac Bridge Walk happened today.

Gov. Snyder started off the walk with a speech and then led a crowd around 30,000 across the four and a half mile stretch.

People from all over the U.S. and even around the world traveled to Mackinac to participate in the walk.

participants lined up and took busses starting at 5:30 A.M this morning over to St. Ignace to the start of the run/walk.

The bridge was closed down to traffic all morning untill 11:00 A.M so that people could walk the bridge.


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