Big crowd at Shelton event raises money to battle disease

“A Slice of Hope for CMT: A Pie Night” on Sept. 13 at the White Hills firehouse in Shelton raised more than $13,000 for the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA), a nonprofit organization.

The event, featuring pizza pies and dessert pies from local establishments as well as raffles, attracted a large crowd. It was organized by Michele Kekac of Shelton, who is battling CMT, a rare inherited neuromuscular disease.

During the event, Kekac was presented with the I Am a Star Award by the CMTA for all her efforts. She is the wife of John Kekac, who is a Shelton police officer.

Police Chief Joel Hurliman read aloud a proclamation from Mayor Mark Lauretti declaring Sept. 13 as Charcot-Marie-Tooth Awareness Day in Shelton.

According to the proclamation, CMT affects one in 2,500 people in the United States and there is no cure for the disease at this time. The disorder was named in 1886 after the three French doctors who discovered it, and causes people to experience weakness in the feet, lower leg muscles, hands and arms..

“The mission of the CMTA is to support the development of new drugs to treat CMT, to improve the quality of lofe for people with CMT, and, ultimately, to find a cure,” states the proclamation.