Kyriakos Economides is doing something extraordinary on Monday, April 18. He is running the Boston Marathon in honor of Christian and Max, and others who are living with Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) as well as all those living with rare diseases. HoFH is the rare and most severe form of Familial Hypercholesterolemia, an otherwise common genetic disorder.
Kyriakos is part of the Running 4 Rare Diseases Marathon Team and he has partnered with two people living with HoFH, Max and Christian. Running for Rare is an organization that mobilizes marathon runners dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. They have teamed up with NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) to raise funds for the National Institutes of Health Undiagnosed Diseases Program.
Kyriakos was already doing extraordinary things to help find effective treatments for rare diseases. He studied Human Genetics at the University of Utah Medical School, and received his PhD from Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi. He works as a researcher at Genzyme to discover treatments for cancer, obesity, diabetes, and more recently, autoimmune diseases.
He was inspired to get back into running so he could help raise awareness and funds for rare diseases. Part of that inspiration came from a talk he heard Family Heart Foundation Advocate for Awareness Erin Karas give. Erin is Maxâ€™s mom, and Max is living with HoFH. Soon Christian Jacobs, Family Heart Foundation Board Member, introduced the Karas family to Kyriakos and both Christian and Max became Kyriakosâ€™ partners for his Boston Marathon run.
Kyriakos says he’s inspired to run by Max, Christian, his own wife, Lamprini, and daughter, Elena, and all people living with a rare disease. When Max met Kyriakos he said, “Thank you for running this marathon for me!” and last month Christian walked 26.2 miles in honor of Kyriakos!
Please join us in thanking Kyriakos for his dedication to raising awareness of HoFH. Good luck to all who are Running 4 Rare at the Boston Marathon!