Delving into Ancestry: Mary Hogan’s Quest for Answers

Mary Hogan2

Mary Hogan’s journey delves deep into her family’s genealogy, unraveling the mysteries of a pervasive genetic disorder known as SCA27B.  Unlike the casual exploration many people undertake on genealogy websites, Mary’s journey is driven by a profound familial connection to Ataxia SCA27. Which has afflicted numerous members of her family.

Nicknamed the “Darby Glide” in her family due to its distinctive walking style,

Ataxia SCA27 manifests in coordination challenges, slurred speech, and a drifting gait.  With over 50% of her family members experiencing symptoms, Mary has been familiar with the disorder since childhood.

Driven by a legacy of research participation, Mary’s family contributed to various studies aimed at understanding Ataxia.  Her own involvement intensified when her immediate family joined a genetic study at Johns Hopkins in 2007.  Motivated by a neurologist’s call for more participants, Mary embarked on a journey through her family tree. Leveraging genealogy tools to connect with relatives and uncover common ancestors affected by Ataxia.

Her dedication bore fruit when, after years of research and outreach, 30 family members learned of a recent discovery – the identification of SCA27B, caused by a repeat expansion of GAA in the FGF14 gene.  Armed with degrees in biochemistry, molecular biology, public health, and nutrition, Mary serves as a crucial link between her family and the scientific community.

Looking ahead, Mary remains optimistic about the progress of research in Ataxia.  

With the development of genetic tests for SCA27B and ongoing efforts to slow disease progression, she envisions a future where treatment options improve the lives of those affected by Ataxia.  United by organizations like the National Ataxia Foundation. Mary’s family finds solace and support in connecting with others who share their experiences.

Through her tireless advocacy and commitment to bridging the gap between science and people, Mary embodies hope for a brighter future in the fight against Ataxia.

We would like to thank Mary Hogan and NAF for sharing his story with us.  As always, we welcome your thoughts and value your feedback.  Let us know what you think by dropping us a line or commenting below.

If you would like to get involved and share your experience with Ataxia, please get in contact with us and join Our Community today. A place where we empower you to build a healthy lifestyle and raise overdue Ataxia Awareness. Experience transformative storytelling and share your story to inspire positive change.


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