By: Cheena Pazzo | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2012
Arlie and Zip Gordon.
The Gordon family is working hard to raise awareness for their son, who is battling a rare genetic disorder called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), or “Stone Man Disease.”
Zip was diagnosed with FOP in July of 2011 at age 4. Friends and family are auctioning a truck and holding a barbecue event and auction in his honor to raise money for FOP research. FOP is one of the rarest, most disabling genetic conditions known to medicine, affecting one in two million, with only 700 confirmed cases worldwide. It causes the bone to attack muscle, turning muscle into bone and potentially enclosing the patient in a second skeleton.
ZipperQ will be held October 6, 2012 at The Nut House on historic Route 66 in Claremore to raise money to find a cure. All proceeds will go directly to the IFOPA and FOP research. At the event, Zip will draw the winning ticket for a 2012 Dodge 1500. The $25 tickets are available for purchase now on ZipperQ.com. In addition, teams can sign up online to participate in the barbecue competition.
"We are honored to have support across the state for Zip's cause," said Amy Gordon, Zip's mother. "Thanks to the many generous donations, there will be something to suit everyone's interest, from art and music to sports and hunting."
The live and silent auctions will include an original painting by famous Oklahoma artist Patrick Gordon, autographed memorabilia from Wayne Coyne – frontman for The Flaming Lips, tickets to the OU/Texas game, and a two-day duck and pheasant hunt by the nationally televised and professional guide Brady Walker.
"The disease is progressive, meaning it gets worse with time. We need a cure as quickly as possible to avoid additional long-term damage," Amy added. "Flare-ups can occur spontaneously or following bodily trauma, such as childhood immunizations, falls while playing and viral illnesses."
According to the IFOPA, the information obtained from studying this disease will have far-reaching implications for the treatment of common disorders such as fractures, osteoporosis, hip replacement surgery, and other forms of heterotopic ossification that occur in trauma and burn victims. More information about FOP is available at www.ifopa.org.