History teacher raises awareness for Fox G1 because of daughter

Emily Tobar

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peytons-pals

The girls’ soccer team wears T-shirts for a Fox G1 fundraiser game they played last season.

All humans have some form of genetic mutation; however, most people will never be affected by those mutations because the mutations affect “non-important” proteins.

But Ms. Heather Lopez-Johnston’s daughter has Fox G1, a disease that targets those important proteins.

The G1 protein mutates in the brain and researchers think that the G1 protein plays an essential role in brain development, especially in the embryonic brain, which is also known as telencephalon. Ultimately, what happens is the telencephalon develops into several critical structures, which effects the coding in the largest part of the brain. That part of the brain controls voluntary activity, language, sensory perception, learning, and memory.

This condition is very rare, and yet it affects people in the Pattonville community. Ms. Heather Lopez-Johnston, one of Pattonville’s history teachers, has a daughter named Peyton with Fox G1.

The little girl has already reached her lifetime limit of insurance when it comes to nursing, and because of her disorder, she cannot go to regular daycare or have a normal babysitter. Because of this, some of the school’s activities decided to get involved three years ago to try and help out the best they can. This was how the fundraiser, “Peyton’s Pals” was born.

The Pattonville girls’ soccer team and Lopez’s family held a benefit for Peyton to help pay for her medical needs. That way, Lopez didn’t have to quit her job as Lopez’s passion was teaching. Now the benefit is held annually to keep on raising awareness of Fox G1, since it is still a fairly new topic for most.

“These families that are affected by this disorder need more research to be done to better help their children,” Lopez said. “This foundation is helping families that can’t necessarily afford the care or the equipment that their child needs.”

The type of equipment or care varies from case to case depending on how the neurological disorder affects each child separately. Peyton, for example, cannot walk or talk, she is developmentally delayed and has to be fed though a feeding tube.

November is Fox G1 Awareness Month.

“We are really trying to make it known to people what Fox G1 is,” Lopez said. “It’s still small and hard to get people to support us since it’s something they’ve never heard about before. That’s why we really want to do something during the Fox G1 awareness month.”

Be on the look out for a specific date and time that will be posted at a later so that way the fundraiser can get the support it desperately needs from the Pattonville community.

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