Pepsi has recently started something called the “refresh project”. The point of this program is to allow people to pitch and vote for ideas they believe need funding. Pepsi then provides financial backing to the winning ideas.

Although many of the ideas submitted to the refresh project are valuable, few are as vital as research for P.A.N.D.A.S. (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Assoc. with Strep). A fellow karateka made me aware of this disorder and how it is being neglected throughout the medical community. As I am not a medical person by any means, I’ll provide the research project’s description of the disorder:

“When a child contracts strep, antibodies that are aimed to kill the strep turn on the child and begin to ATTACK THEIR BRAIN causing inflammation. This swelling causes dramatic behavior changes. A once “normal” child suddenly has OCD, tics, high anxiety, sensory issues, and more. Most doctors are not aware of the complexity of PANDAS, how it presents itself, or how to treat it. This may lead to a misdiagnosis of clinical OCD, TS, or other mental disorders. Imagine a childhood of unnecessary psychotropic meds, suffering, and unanswered questions. With CORRECT DIAGNOSIS and treatment, remission is possible.”

Dr. Cunningham (research director at the University of Oklahoma) is making great strides in studying and diagnosing the disorder, but needs the $50,000 refresh project grant to make significant headway. The money will be put toward building a means for proper recognition, treatment, and testing for P.A.N.D.A.S.

I’d like to welcome you to vote for this project. Voting requires no commitment on your part besides logging in (you can even connect through Facebook), and they send you no spam or offers after you vote. You can vote once a day, every day until May 31st.

and get the word out on Facebook

As martial arts instructors one of our goals is to help children build focused and healthful lives. This is another way for us to reach out and help them.