Taking Out the Garbage


How many of you had chores or an assigned job when you were a kid? My first "job" was to set the table for dinner. I graduated to doing the dinner dishes until I ate so many dinners at my friend's house, my mom came up with a new plan.

In all the jobs I did around the house growing up, I never had to take out the garbage. But that's what I want to talk to you about. From November 17 to December 20 I have an opportunity to help raise money to take the garbage out of MPS patients.

Let's back up. MPS stands for mucopolysaccharides. You can see why they abbreviate it! Mucopolysaccharides are long chains of sugar molecules that are found throughout the body. When someone has MPS, they lack an enzyme which breaks down these sugars. So, the sugars do not get broken down. In other words, the "garbage" doesn't get taken out.


There are anywhere from 1000 to 1300 different enzymes in a single cell, and a staggering 75,000 enzymes in the human body. It is amazing that by lacking just one of those enzymes, this disease can occur.  Even though I never took the garbage out growing up, someone always did. But with MPS, that one little enzyme that is lacking is the garbage taker outer for, well, MPS sugar molecules. He is the only one who can take out that specific molecule, so if he is missing, those specific molecules don't get taken out. They accumulate in every cell and cause damage over time.

There are 7 known types of MPS today. Each type lacks a different enzyme which breaks down a different type of sugar molecule. 

My husband and my nephew have the attenuated (mild) form of MPS II. Research has been able to identify the specific enzyme they lack, and develop a replacement enzyme. This didn't cure the disease, but it has helped to slow down the progression and extend MPS II patient's lives. 

So on Friday, December 20, I am participating in a Jingle Bell Disney 5K Run and 1 Mile Memorial Walk. All of the money raised from this walk goes to research to help find cures and helps for managing the diseases. Please join me in helping to take out the garbage for those with MPS and ML (another enzyme lacking disease). 

You can go to the this secure link to give support and learn more.


Our family in 2017. Wayne, pictured in the green sweatshirt, has MPS II



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