Our annual Langa Family walk for Wilson's Disease. If you can't attend, please consider a donation using the green button below.
An Event For The Whole Family!!! The Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail (DRHT) will accommodate almost everyone's abilities.
Pick your walking distance, or feel free to run instead!! The DRHT () is wheelchair/handicap accessible for about the first 1/2 mile of the unpaved trail.
Feel free to bring your dogs (all dogs on leashes, please).
Handicap accessible: 1/2 mile of the trail.
Public Restrooms available
If you want to donate you can do so in the right hand side of this page.
If you want to order shirts or caps and can't attend the walk you can use the link below and your orders will be shipped to you directly.
Why do we do this?
For the past eight years, Constantin Langa (now 35 years old) has been struggling with Wilson Disease (WD). Constantin's symptoms started when his son Traian was only 3 months old (he is eight now!), and his wife, Nichole, were just learning how to be parents. With their "never give up" attitude, however, Constantin and his wife were blessed with the birth of their second child, a beautiful healthy girl, named Adina in April of this year.
Some of Constantin's first symptoms included excess saliva, toe and hand cramps, tongue and body tremors, dystonia, slurred speech, and balance loss. It took him and his family 6 months from the start of his serious symptoms to get a diagnosis. By many measures though, they consider themselves very fortunate to have gotten a diagnosis within that timeframe, especially when others in the WD community were wrongly diagnosed or took even longer to get a diagnosis. It was a very traumatic period for his family, as Constantin, a healthy and successful man, was falling apart, and his wife was taking care of a new baby.
Part of the reason Constantin is a survivor is because he was diagnosed "early" enough to catch the fatal onset of the disease (although genetic testing at birth would have been the most ideal solution). However, getting a diagnosis was no easy matter. His family ran from doctor to doctor, and every time the doctors were either baffled, told them what Constantin didn't have, or they were provided a wrong diagnosis. The first diagnosis they received was anxiety and depression, but they never gave up searching for answers because that just didn't seem correct. His family knew that there was something more going on. It wasn't until he took an MRI, and the neurologist saw the "panda face" that Constantin was finally on the path toward a diagnosis. The MRI, plus lab and genetic testing, and the discovery of Kayser-Fleischer Rings in his eyes solidified the diagnosis.
Over this period of about 6 to 8 months, the neurological manifestations of WD took Constantin suddenly from a very healthy, active lifestyle and holding a full time job in Washington, D.C. to completely debilitating neurological effects of not being able to perform any basic function without assistance. Constantin's symptoms greatly worsened 3 weeks following the start of the chelation therapy medication. The doctors tried to save his liver by getting as much copper out of his body as quickly as possible. As a result, his neurological system was compromised.
Eight years into this WD journey, daily life is still a struggle and Constantin still requires regular assistance from caregivers and family. However, his determination to get better means he attends regular therapy (aquatic, modified yoga, neurofeedback, acupuncture, acupressure, speech, etc.) and his many bumps, cuts and bruises are marks of him pushing his limits to overcome. Even these many years later, they are defying the odds and continue to see improvements.
Our hope is to raise awareness for WD, so that we can prevent future generations from the same devastating situation. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key!
The Wilson Disease Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation designated by the IRS. All donations are tax deductible and are being used exclusively to fund the patient registry. Donations can be made on our website at www.wilsondisease.org or in the right hand column.