"What I think has helped us is that spinal muscular atrophy, SMA, is also dependent on delivery of a healthy gene to the spinal cord and our science is on target to be the first disease community to do that," said Favaro. "If we're successful, that will help SMA and some of these other genetically-based neurological disorders."
"It could have a lot of impact in a lot of different areas," she added.
However, that's only half of why the numbers are rising, said Favaro. It's the support of people in the past two years that have attended bake sales, car washes, golf tournaments, dinners and every other fundraiser to raise money for the Hannah's Hope Fund mission that's made the organization successful and one step closer to a cure for GAN, she said.
"With the help of the North Country, we've reached every single milestone," said Favaro, who noted the most notable milestone was successfully raising $500,000 toward a $1 million matching grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation in Wilmington, N.C. "It shows when people come together, how can you lose?"
Though Hannah's Hope Fund is trying to raise $1.3 million to fund human clinical trials in the fall of 2011, Favaro said she feels the $250,000 grant would make that milestone much more possible.
Voting for Hannah's Hope Fund can be done free on-line at www.refresheverything.com/hannahshopefund. Votes may also be cast by texting 101885 to 73774 - the numeric translation for "Pepsi." Standard text messaging rates apply. Votes may be cast once a day per person.
"If area businesses or groups of people would get together and vote before lunch or whenever, that would really help," said Favaro. "And, if local people vote and encourage their friends and family who live far away to vote, it's just going to spread like wildfire."
The top two vote-getters in their category at the end of the month will get their grants approved.
For more information, visit www.hannahshopefund.org. Hannah's Hope Fund may also be found on Facebook and Twitter by searching the keywords: Hannah's Hope Fund.