The million dollar finish line is within sight for Johnston family

Local effort just $10,000 away from raising $1 million for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) in Matthew DiIorio's honor

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Only $10,000 away from raising $1 million for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA).

Can you help put them over the finish line?

Matthew DiIorio passed away on the Fourth of July at age 40 after a long battle with Freidrich’s ataxia (FA), a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder.

Now, without Matthew, the struggle to find a cure for the disease, and support its victims, continues in his memory.

DiIorio’s friends and family have raised nearly $1 million dollars over a dozen years.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, they held the 12th annual Race for Matt & Grace at Rhode Island College. Registrants had the option to run, walk or roll through the 5K Road Race or a walking course.

“We announced at the end of the race that this year's fundraising totaled $150,000, which brings the 12-year total to $990,000,” said Michael Crawley, Matthew’s lifelong best friend. “Those who want to help us reach the $1,000,000 goal by the end of the year can do so via www.curefa.org/RFMG.”

More than 5,000 people in the United States suffer from FA, a rare, debilitating and progressive neurological disease, for which there is currently no cure. Members of FARA hope to change that.

Events like the Race for Matt & Grace raise money for research and awareness of the disease.

Matthew DiIorio, a Johnston native, was diagnosed with the illness in 1994, at the age of 13.

About four years later, FA began to take its toll. In 2009, DiIorio became a tireless advocate for FARA. He and his family and friends worked hard to raise nearly $1 million over the past 11 years for FARA and others who suffer from FA.

Even after the DiIorio family and his friends reach $1 million raised, they plan to keep on running past the finish line. They pledge to keep on running until FARA can stop the disease in its tracks.

More information can be found at www.curefa.org/rfmg (checks to FARA may be mailed to 533 W. Uwchlan Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335; reference RFMG).

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