Women’s Board of Steele Children’s Research Center raises $3 million for research

The Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center, known as PANDA or People Acting Now Discover Answers, has announced the 19th annual Children Helping Children Fashion Show and Luncheon raised over $3 million for children’s epilepsy research.

The event was Saturday, April 14 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn, 5402 E. Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley, with nearly 1,200 guests attending and 55 children models participating in the fashion show, a release states.

The PANDA Children’s Epilepsy Project will support the Steele Center’s exploration, in partnership with Rady Children’s Genomic Institute in San Diego, into basic science and clinical approaches focused on children who had their first epileptic event as infants or at an early age.

The Rady team will provide whole genome sequencing for children, and the Steele team will investigate genetic mutations to determine their functionality and how to treat them, according to a press release.

The goal is to develop a new paradigm for treatment of these children through research, including whole genome sequencing, examination of structural brain disorders and metabolic issues.

“Children who develop seizures as infants or at an early age struggle to have a medicine regimen that adequately reduces the number and intensity of episodes,” Jacque Linaman, PANDA board president, said in a prepared statement.

“Each seizure leaves a lasting mark on the development of their brains, at the very time that the brain development is most crucial. The project will provide whole genome sequencing, gene and function analysis for children diagnosed with epilepsy.”

This year’s fashion show featured 55 children models from across the Valley and Tucson, dressed in spring fashions, which Ralph Lauren provided. T

he theme for this year’s fashion show was “A Jewel in the Desert” and the event chairs were Kyle Christensen, Lindsey Williams, Gretchen Schubert and Allison Irwin. Micheline Etkin served as the model coach for the 18th consecutive year, Letitia Frye was the auctioneer and Jamie Krell was the event emcee.

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