Lexington family raising money for rare disease research

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - He's a Lexington boy fighting a big battle. Six-year-old Zach Pickard is one of only 16 children in the US with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. The syndrome is one that causes rapid aging.

"It's an aging disease of children. It's where every year is like seven to ten years for them. There's only 100 children in the world and 16 in the US, and Zachary's the only one in Kentucky," explains grandmother Kim Pickard. Pickard was present at Saturday's Race Against Time fundraiser.

"He knows that he has progeria. He knows that it makes him not have any hair. He knows that it makes him short. And he knows that it makes him have the veins on his head. That's about the extent of what he knows about it," explains mom Tina Pickard, "people enjoy being around him. He make people laugh. He tries to make people laugh. He's like a little clown, a little jokester."

This year's Race Against Time in Louisville helped raise money for the Progeria Research Foundation.

"I'm not a doctor. I'm not a researcher. We kind of feel like this is all we can do. And if we can have these events and raise awareness then people will donate money," notes Tina Pickard.

For information on how to donate, visit Zach's page by following the link below.

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