The fifth annual Standing Up to POTS walk/run, founded by Wittenberg Professor of Biology Cathy Pederson, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20. Registration begins at 9 a.m. followed by the race at 10 a.m., both along Alumni Way in front of the Benham-Pence Student Center.
POTS, which stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, includes symptoms such as constant fatigue, rapid heartbeat, sensitivity to light and temperature, dizziness, and more. Standing Up to POTS has a mission to improve the quality of life for people with POTS through research, advocacy, and support.
Pederson and her family know firsthand what it’s like to live with the disorder as her teenage daughter suffers from POTS. For Pederson’s daughter the disorder is so harsh that it affects her ability to attend school.
This 5K event is the biggest and most important fundraiser for the Standing Up to POTS organization. The money raised will fund research in the United States, Canada, and Germany. Pederson notes that events like this one have allowed the organization to award $41,250 in research grants.
“I founded Standing Up to POTS after my daughter was diagnosed at age 10,” Pederson said. “I watch a young teen suffer from this disorder every day and wouldn’t wish this on another family. Since its inception in 2014, our local charity has gained international attention. People from more than 150 countries have visited our website, and we have people with POTS from 54 countries who follow our Standing Up to POTS Facebook page. In 2017 and 2018 alone, we have published seven research and awareness articles on POTS and chronic illness.”
Sign up for this year’s race here. Donations are also accepted and are tax-deductible.
Did you know that:
- Approximately one percent of teens are affected by POTS.
- 25% of those with POTS are too sick to go to school or work.
- The physical disability can require teens and young adults to need a wheelchair, cane, and/or shower chair.
- Women and teenage girls are five times more likely to get POTS than their male counterparts.
- POTS can occur after pregnancy, trauma, or a viral illness such as mono.
- By Megan Selby ‘20, Office of University Communications
- Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash