February marks two special occasions for the Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy Association (ADOAA). The first is that February is Low Vision Awareness Month, which is a crucial time for organizations such as ADOAA to raise awareness and understanding of the various diseases that cause low vision. This effort to raise awareness is especially important for ADOAA towards the end of the month, on Rare Disease Day which occurs annually on the last day of February. ADOA is a rare disease that causes low vision, and even sometimes complete vision loss, beginning in childhood. This condition is autosomally inherited by an individual and affects the optic nerves. The vision loss is due to mitochondrial dysfunction, which facilitates the death of optic nerve fibers. Once damaged, the affected nerve fibers can no longer transmit visual information to the brain. ADOA is a disease that strikes the youth. It is typically diagnosed between the ages of four and six, though there have even been signs of the disease recorded in children as young as one year old. And by the time a person with ADOA has reached adolescence, the severity of the disease that they are experiencing at that time is what they will experience for the rest of their adult life. There is currently no confirmed treatment or cure for the disease. ADOAA is dedicated to raising awareness for this and other rare mitochondrial diseases, as well as raising money to fund the research for treatments and a cure. In order to make the important month of February last a little bit longer and continue this critical effort to inform the public and support further research, ADOAA will be hosting a March-a-Palooza event on March 13, 2020 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Come join us for free food, a silent auction, raffle prizes, and more!