Beth Nytko prepares to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon to support Families dealing with the pain of Rett syndrome.
Every 90 minutes, a little girl is born with Rett syndrome, a debilitating neurological disorder that causes severe impairment predominantly in females. For doTERRA Wellness Advocate Beth Nytko, girls with Rett syndrome hold a special place in her heart. Beth has been friends with Carrie Weaver for several years, and Carrie’s daughter, Lizzie, has Rett syndrome. It was through Carrie that Beth learned about the Girl Power 2 Cure organization (GP2C), a nonprofit group dedicated to raising money and awareness for Rett syndrome.
Beth is currently training to run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon this coming February to support Girl Power 2 Cure’s cause. When Carrie formed a team for the fundraising race consisting of Lizzie’s friends and family, Beth wanted to join in—as both an avid runner and friend of the family. Along with the members of Lizzie’s Team, there will be over 100 other runners participating on behalf of GP2C.
Like other events that GP2C has participated in, this race will help raise money for research and treatments for Rett syndrome patients. For girls with Rett syndrome, quality of life is seriously affected, as the condition causes developmental problems, loss of control over the use of the hands, intellectual disabilities, frequent seizures, and problems with walking and speaking.1
Aside from the typical symptoms, many girls also experience related problems like scoliosis and breathing issues. Because of the health problems associated with Rett syndrome, patients often have an increased risk for pain. Unfortunately, the inability to communicate may prevent those with Rett syndrome from alerting parents and caretakers about their pain issues. One study showed that one-fourth of parents estimated that their daughters with Rett syndrome experienced more than one week of pain every month.2
Girls dealing with Rett syndrome experience a very different childhood than their peers, and their families work tirelessly to care for them. Some research has shown that symptoms of Rett syndrome are potentially reversible, making research and fundraising even more important for GP2C. As Beth raises funds and trains for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, she is motivated by the girls that GP2C supports. She says, “I run for these girls with the hope that a cure will be found so that they can get the childhood back that has been robbed from them.”