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Ali’s Army bracelets increase awareness

Alissa Widman Neese • Dec 9, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Have you spotted people wearing vibrant green bracelets in the area?

Angela and Gabe McKean, of Groton Township, create and distribute the bracelets to increase awareness of a rare genetic disorder called fiprodysplasia ossificans progressive, commonly abbreviated “FOP.”

Doctors diagnosed their daughter Ali, 6, with the incurable, disabling condition this past year. While interviewing the family this past week, I learned wearing a bracelet makes you an official member of Ali’s Army, a dedicated group of individuals campaigning for increase awareness of FOP.

They hope their efforts lead to speedier diagnoses and ultimately a cure.

As I talked with Angela and Gabe in their dining room about the cause, Ali left the room for a moment. I didn’t think anything of it. She returned moments later with two bracelets: one for me and the other for photographer Luke Wark. Each bracelet has one of three phrases on it.

Mine reads “FOP Warrior” and lists her Ali’s Army website. I’m honored Ali decided to make us part of her team.

Visit alis-army.org to learn how to get your own bracelet, as well as learning more about Ali’s Army.

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