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Zeldzame Ziekten Fonds Rally 2014 (Rare Disease Fund Rally 2014)

06 October 2014

Research into Leigh’s Syndrome has been made possible thanks to the ZZF Rally

On Sunday October 5th, the 9th edition of the ZZF took place. The rally, the auction and the lottery combined raised a total amount of € 79,940, which is intended for research into Leigh’s Syndrome, the worst form of energy/metabolic diseases, For research into this disease an amount of € 75,000 was necessary. However, thanks to 2 additional donations, a total amount of € 81,000 was raised.

This year, 70 teams turned up in their cars for the start of a demanding rally, which was set out by Jan Berkhof. Stylist Fred van Leer and Charles Ruijgrok, chair for the ZZF, gave the starting signal at Country Estate De Horst in Driebergen. The field of drivers was made up by enthusiastic and committed participants complemented by a number of famous Dutch people and ZZF ambassadors. Gijs van Lennep, and former Formula 1 driver Jan Lammers drove the rally together. Former minister Jan Kees de Jager, Gaston Starreveld of the Postcode Loterij and Rob Geus of the TV-show the Smaakpolitie, also took part. The lots that were donated for this purpose were auctioned off with success and great enthusiasm by Bas van Werven, TV-host for ‘Eenvandaag’ and Charles Ruijgrok.

Immediately after the start, the teams were confronted with a surprise in the form of a test. Subsequently, the teams continued their trip along a country road to reach their lunch location at Royal Leerdam Crystal. After lunch, they stopped for a croquette break at Brasserie Waalhaven, which is located directly alongside the runway at Airport Rotterdam-The Hague. After the break, the group continued their route in the direction of the Hornbach in Nieuwerkerk where, upon arrival, they were expected to conduct a test for points in the ranking list.

The finish brought them to Porsche Centrum Rotterdam where the participants were treated to a delicious traditional Dutch meal.

The proceeds, in part made possible by sponsors such as UTS, State of Art, Porsche Centrum Rotterdam, Royal Leerdam Crystal, Hornbach, House of Lords & Gassan, will be donated for research into Leigh’s Syndrome. For years now, Prof. Jan Smeitink and his team have been working at RadboudUMC in search of a cure.

Charles Ruijgrok: ‘It’s wonderful that in times like these, the 9th edition of this rally has managed to raise so much money. We want to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts for their contribution. It’s lovely to know that so many people and businesses support the ZZF.’

Leigh’s Syndrome

Approximately 16 children in the Netherlands are suffering from Leigh’s Syndrome, the worst and most progressive form of energy/metabolic disease. In Europe, the disease affects a total of approx. 500 children. Patients who suffer from a metabolic disease have a problem with their energy input, in other words: their battery doesn’t work properly. It takes a long time for the battery to charge and when it does, it still only reaches 50% of the maximum capacity - only to run low again quickly. In addition, it damages the body with toxins. Children with Leigh’s disease generally die young; most children do not grow older than 10 years of age.