Take a Bite out of HAE One Stroke at a Time
Please visit our new campaign, Wear Jeans for RARE Genes ×
$9,075 Raised
182% of $5k goal
136 contributors
0 days left
Ended Oct 22, 2014
Michael Ardito is a 14 year old high school student on a mission. For the last 4 years his goal has been to raise awareness and money for research to find a cure for Hereditary Angioedema. Both his step dad, John Harrington and his sister Kati ... More ...

Story

Michael Ardito is a 14 year old high school student on a mission. For the last 4 years his goal has been to raise awareness and money for research to find a cure for Hereditary Angioedema. Both his step dad, John Harrington and his sister Kati Harrington have HAE. Michael has witnessed the swelling, the pain, and the life threatening dangers that this disease produces.

Effecting between 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000, HAE is considered a rare genetic disease. But to those suffering from it and those witnessing it first hand, “rare” doesn’t matter. The episodes of edema striking various body parts without warning are beyond painful and have the potential to be life-threatening.

Knowing this, watching this, the family made a decision to take action against the suffering. They knew HAE needed a cure. Four years ago, along with his mom, Nicole, and his younger brother Chris, Michael participated in a family triathlon. The goal was to raise awareness and money for a cure.

Since the triathlon Michael has continued to work to raise awareness by aggressively promoting HAE Day. Earlier this year a letter he wrote regarding the need for a cure was published in a local newspaper. Again, Michael described his first hand experience with the suffering and the life-threatening horror it brings.

Michael’s latest quest for awareness and funding for a cure is his boldest move yet. With a desire to step up his efforts, Michael along with close family friend, Luke Tanner, is taking a plunge into the cold waters of the Boston Harbor.

On September 20, they will swim across the harbor as participants in the Boston Sharkfest Swim.

Raising awareness and donations is their goal!! They will be swimming for a cure for John and Kati and for all those individuals and families who suffer from HAE.

Please support Michael and Luke as they take on the challenge of the Boston Sharkfest Swim.

Mike with Kati

Where will the money go? 


Proceeds go to the US Hereditary Angioedema Association. “The HAEA is a non-profit patient advocacy organization dedicated to serving angioedema patients. The HAEA provides HAE patients and their families with a support network and a wide range of services including physician referrals, and individualized patient support. Their goal is to increase awareness of Hereditary Angioedema by providing patients and physicians with authoritative and readily accessible information. They are committed to advancing and conducting clinical research designed to improve the lives of HAE patients and ultimately a cure.” https://www.haea.org/

What is HAE?

Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a rare, debilitating and potentially fatal genetic disease resulting from a deficiency of a key plasma protein. Patients suffer from unpredictable attacks of swelling that involves the hands, feet, abdomen, face, and airway. Abdominal swelling involves excruciating pain and vomiting that can last up to 72 hours. Airway attacks constitute a major medical emergency that can lead to death by suffocation. Despite the availability of new medicines and progress made in HAE advocacy and education, preventable HAE-related deaths continue to occur, and many patients still suffer from disabling attacks. To find out more, check out www.haea.org

  Before and after picture of John Meet our “HAE Swimmers”

Michael and Luke

Michael Ardito

Michael attends Guilderland High School in Guilderland, NY. He is a member of the national junior honor society and, last year, as an 8th grader, began his varsity career on the high school swim team. Michael also teaches swimming to young kids just learning to swim and older kids looking to improve their technique.

Luke Tanner

Luke attends Guilderland High School in Guilderland, NY. He is a member of the national junior honor society and a successful triathlete. Luke also volunteers as a camp counselor, mentoring young children through the local YMCA program.

Stay Tuned!!

Keep visiting our "update" tab to see pictures and comments from our swimmers as they take the plunge for a cure.

Visit the "activity" tab to view our comprehensive list of generous supporters!

Activity highlights See all 138
Follow this campaign to receive updates by email.

People just like you

People just like you have raised $86+ million for causes they and their friends care about.

Start your own campaign
Recent contributions