A Rolesville preschooler's big brown eyes have helped vault a nonprofit organization to near the top of a competitive online grant contest worth $250,000.
Matthew Wuchich, 3, was diagnosed with alternating hemiplegia of childhood when he was 18 months old. He appears in a promotional video for the AHC Foundation, vying for online votes in the Pepsi Refresh competition.
The group started Nov. 1 with a ranking of 235. By Tuesday, it had jumped to fourth place.
"We are making steps toward getting more research done, and a cure could come as a result," said Jeff Wuchich, Matthew's father and president of the AHC Foundation, which has its headquarters in Michigan. "Even if this doesn't mean Matthew gets cured, we know this will come to some good."
The disease is a rare, permanent neurological disorder causing temporary paralysis that can last minutes or days. Doctors don't know the cause, and there is no cure.
To win the $250,000 grant, the AHC Foundation must make the top two. The group would use the money for advanced genetic testing to find the roots of the disease, which they hope will lead to a cure, Wuchich said.
Voting at www.RefreshEverything.com/CureAHC continues until Nov. 30.
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