Pilots Hope To Circle Globe In Just Seven Days
Flying for a cure, CarolAnn Garratt and Carol Foy, who have
family members diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, will
circumnavigate the world in seven days, in a small Mooney M20J,
attempting to shatter a world record to raise money and awareness
for ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Their takeoff is scheduled for Tuesday, December 2 at 9 pm from
Orlando International Airport. According to plan, they'll return
seven days, 12 hours and 43 minutes later, the Orlando Sentinel
"There are a million little things that can slow us down," said
Foy. "I was starting to get real stressed out about it, and then a
friend told me something I keep remembering - 'Just keep the pointy
end forward and keep going.' It was good advice."
Paying 100 percent of the trip expenses, the pilots are hoping
to raise $1 million to find a cure for ALS. Commonly known as Lou
Gehrig's disease, ALS is a neurodegenerative disease which attacks
the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord resulting in
progressive paralysis and is considered fatal. There is no known
effective treatment for ALS.
"When my mother was diagnosed with ALS, I bought my first
Mooney...so I could fly from my home in Orlando to visit her in
Virginia," said CarolAnn Garratt. "When my mother passed away, I
knew I wanted to use my love of flying to help find a cure for this
fatal disease. Carol and I hope that this flight will bring ALS TDI
one step closer to developing a treatment so that no other family
has to suffer from this devastating disease like ours did."
After CarolAnn lost her
mother to ALS in 2002, she vowed to fly around the world to raise
awareness and donations for the disease that took her mother's
life. Like 90 percent of ALS patients, her mother passed away
within five years of being diagnosed. One of Carol Foy's family
members was also diagnosed last year.
Working closely with ALS Therapy Development Institute, the
leading nonprofit working on a cure, this team is dedicated to
finding effective treatments for those living with ALS, which
affects a new family every 90 minutes in the US.
"We thank both CarolAnn and Carol for making it their mission to
fight for a cause that is near and dear to their hearts as well as
many others all over the world," said Steve Perrin, Chief
Scientific Officer, ALS TDI. "Combined with our global efforts, it
is this teamwork that will be the driving force for finding the
The current world record, accredited by the Federation
Aeronautique Internationale set in 1988, averaged a speed of 56.8
mph, including all stops for refueling. The pilot duo, CarolAnn and
Carol, are planning an average speed of 120 mph with only nine
stops for refueling.
If you would like to make a donation to support CarolAnn and
Carol in Dash for a Cure, please visit their website. To date,
StarPort Cambata Aviation in Stanford, Florida; Universal Weather
and Aviation, Inc. in Houston, TX; and Scheyden Sunglasses have
significantly contributed to make this a success.
The ALS Therapy Development Institute, based in Cambridge,
Mass., operates the world's largest research and development
program focused exclusively on ALS. The Institute has a staff of
more than 30 scientists and research technicians, working on behalf
of ALS patients to discover and advance novel therapeutics for
treating, and ultimately curing, ALS.
The nonprofit biotechnology institute excels in identifying
novel disease targets, discovering compounds that may act against
these targets, and screening potential treatments for clinical