Gale Family AOA1 Research Fundraiser

Raised toward our $250,000 Goal
236 Donors
days left
Project ends on December 31, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

Gale Family AOA1 Research Fundraiser

Even as a newborn baby, we knew our son Preston would grow into a hard-working, smart, strong, and independent individual.  What we didn’t know was that eight years later, he would be using these qualities to battle a rare genetic neurodegenerative disorder called Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia Type 1 (AOA1).

Instead of playing sports and bike riding, Preston’s after school activities include Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapies aimed at slowing down the progress of this disease.

Preston was diagnosed with AOA1 in March 2021 and the initial diagnosis was devastating.  Despite his challenges, Preston thrives.  He is an excellent student, a budding scientist, and a knock-knock joker extraordinaire!  In addition to therapy, he continues to participate in swimming, sailing, Cub Scouts, and adaptive baseball, while squeezing in time to hang out with his best friends and close family.  We couldn’t be prouder of the young man that he has become!

AOA1 is a very rare disorder impacting only a handful of people in the United States.  Symptoms include challenges with balance and coordination, which will continue to regress over time.  There is currently no direct treatment or cure.

This is where you come in.

Brent Fogel, M.D., Ph.D, Director of the UCLA Neurogenetics Clinic and a member of the UCLA Ataxia Center is launching research to develop a groundbreaking gene therapy that has the potential to stop the progression of this disease.  Gene therapy uses novel technologies to repair defective genes and has proven to be effective for a number of other rare genetic disorders.

Gifts to the Gale Family AOA1 Research Fund directly support Dr. Fogel’s research, with 93.5% of funds going directly to his laboratory.  Your financial support is critical for moving this groundbreaking research forward and helping to find a cure to this terrible disease.


If you would like to make your gift by check via USPS, address the check to The UCLA Foundation and write Gale Family Fundraiser in the memo line. Please mail the check to The UCLA Foundation, PO Box 7145, Pasadena, CA 91109-9903. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Brown at

All gifts are tax-deductible and follow the charitable giving changes established for this calendar year (2021) by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Deductions for individuals who don't itemize; cash donations up to $600 qualify: Ordinarily, individuals who elect to take the standard deduction cannot claim a deduction for their charitable contributions. The law now permits these individuals to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to certain qualifying charitable organizations, including UCLA. These individuals, including married individuals filing separate tax returns, can claim a deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made during 2021. The maximum deduction is increased to $600 for married individuals filing joint returns.

New Charitable Deduction Limits: individuals and corporations that itemize can deduct much greater amounts of their contributions. Individuals can elect to deduct donations up to 100% of their 2021 AGI (up to 60% previously). Corporations may deduct up to 25% of taxable income, up from the previous limit of 10%.

If you do not wish to receive further fundraising information from UCLA Health Sciences, please either call us at (855) 364-6945 or email us at providing your name, address, phone number, email, and from which department you're requesting to be removed. Should this fund reach the campus minimum required for the establishment of an endowment or quasi-endowment, The UCLA Foundation reserves the right to convert this fund to an endowment or quasi-endowment. Please review UCLA and The UCLA Foundation’s Disclosure Statements for Prospective Donors and to learn more about how The UCLA Foundation invests and manages its endowments at

Our Crowdfunding Groups