About Tony Jackson

Originally from the fine state of GA, I moved to Maine in 2000, and have been working with Jan and Robin to one degree or another for several years. As the resident Tech Monkey for ASI, you'll see me attached to web stuff and technical challenges ASI and those they support may face.

Upcoming Alstrom Syndrome Multidisciplinary Clinic at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) in September

PLEASE NOTE: THIS CLINIC WILL BE FOR THOSE 1 -12. Anyone is welcome! Information and consults will be in English. WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU BY July 20th!

BACKGROUND: As many of you are probably aware, ASI has realized the long-held dream of establishing an Alstrom Syndrome Center of Excellence. In what we hope will be the first of several additional centers, we have been working with Clair Francomano, MD at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Clair, a longtime friend and valued colleague of Jan’s, now serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of ASI. To date, we have held Clinics for members of the A-Team, for pediatric patients, ages 1-11 and for adolescents, ages 12 – 17.  These early efforts are designed specifically to familiarize a team of specialists with the syndrome, its range and intensity of phenotypes, and to broaden the awareness of psycho-social issues which have been largely ignored. We have also focused on the assessment and possibilities of cochlear implantation for our kids. Another important goal has been to acquire and maintain consistent longitudinal data and to ultimately have Centers where new patients of any age can go, be supported, and avoid being confronted with ignorance about the Syndrome. Caregivers and adult patients will receive written comprehensive notes, specific recommendations, and any test results generated.

ONGOING CONSIDERAIONS: Please be aware that the resources of both ASI and GBMC are limited. Sadly, at present we can only accommodate 8 participants per Clinic, and priority is extended to NEW attendees. Anyone not selected for this clinic will still be eligible to attend future age appropriate opportunities based on medical history, specific medical issues, and the availability of specialty physicians, who donate their time and expertise. “Veterans” of previous clinics SHOULD let me know if interested.

WHO: For this particular Clinic we are seeking younger pediatric participants (aged 1-12) accompanied by a parent or parents or a close experienced relative such as a grandparent. We are not really set up to incorporate healthy siblings, but feel free to consult if you’re stuck.

WHEN: September 13 – 16. The clinics/consultations will take place on Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15, so participants and any care-givers will arrive during the day on Thursday, September 13 and depart in the morning on Sunday, September 16.

WHERE: Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel and Greater Baltimore Medical Center. In addition to sleeping rooms, we’ll have dedicated meeting and recreational space.

WHAT: We expect the following disciplines to be available: ENT, audiology, ophthalmology, genetics, nephrology, cardiology, endocrinology, life coaching/psychology, and gastroenterology. Part of our time will include a thorough review of cochlear implantation and its possibilities for patients with AS. During the Saturday multi-disciplinary clinic, you will have your own examining room, and the various docs will come directly to you. Nice change for most!

COSTS: Parent/Caregivers/Patients are ONLY responsible for transportation to and from Baltimore. ASI will cover all other costs: transportation from the airport or train station both to/from the Sheraton and to/from GBMC. Rooms will be arranged. All meals (b/l/d) will be provided. Most will be a la carte from the restaurant menu to accommodate individual tastes. There will be a “banquet dinner” either Friday or Saturday evening depending on the availability of the professionals involved. Depending on insurance, in rare instances there may be a modest cost associated with a few tests. In all previous clinics, no one has been charged more than $100 (USD).

MUST DO: If you wish to attend, you will need to provide GBMC with comprehensive medical records well AHEAD OF TIME, and you will receive specific contact info about what is needed directly from GBMC.

WHAT NEXT?: If you are interested, please contact Robin by email at robin.marshall@alstrom.org OR call him at (207) 244-7043. Please –  email (NOT facebook!!!) is best. We need to hear from you ASAP but no later than July 20!!

Alström Syndrome in the News

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals Announces New Topline Clinical Data from Ongoing Phase 2 Basket Studies Evaluating Setmelanotide in Rare Genetic Disorders of Obesity

  • Further Improvements Observed in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Patients; Initial Proof-of-Concept Data in Alström Syndrome Demonstrates Significant Weight Loss and Decreased Hunger
  • Rhythm Plans to Initiate Combined Pivotal Phase 3 Trial in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome and Alström Syndrome in 2018
  • Preliminary Data in Patients with POMC and Other MC4 Pathway Heterozygous Deficiency Obesities and POMC Epigenetic Disorders Demonstrate Clinically-Meaningful Reductions in Weight and Hunger

Read the full press release on Rhythm Pharmaceuticals’ website.

Update on the July 3 Memorial for Jan Marshall

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Many, but certainly not all, of you are aware that for 33 years I, with my wife Jan by my side, was the owner, manager, and producer of the Deck House Restaurant and Cabaret Theater, a largely summer seasonal enterprise, first in Bass Harbor and then in Southwest Harbor. That enterprise matched up well with my teaching career at MDIHS (Language Arts) and my early contributions to supporting Jan, a researcher for 46 years at JAX, in her efforts with Alstrom Syndrome International (ASI), a 501 (c) (3) charity established to treat and cure Alstrom Syndrome, a horrific and rare genetic disorder that impacts every cell, every organ, and every system in an affected individual’s body. 

The restaurant was staffed with young and very talented singers, dancers, actors, mimes, story tellers and puppeteers, drawn initially from the talent pool here on Mt. Desert Island but later expanding to the whole country and, indeed, beyond to the world. Many will remember the early days with Laurie Beal, Susie Homer, Randy Reed, Susan Grindle, Lajla Stromholt, Barry Fernald, Jeff Newman, Michael Kelly, Robert Salsbury, Jackson Gilman, Andrew Periale, Justine Barcley, Marianne Miro and
many more. Today, a great many Players are or have appeared on Broadway, sung with the Metro- politan Opera, or toured the world sharing their gifts.

When Jan died this past September, a number of former Players (Laurie Beal, Annie Leonardi-Merchant, Jackie Bachman, Frank Bachman, Valerie LaPointe, Amy Gwinn-Becker, and Danny Williams) stepped up to the honor of performing at Jan’s memorial service held in the Amphitheater at Camp Beech Cliff. John Tercyak, a longtime friend and supporter, also performed and provided accompaniment. Those in attendance included many Alstrom patients and families, Jan’s colleagues from The Laboratory, our nuclear family members, and many, many friends and longtime admirers from the community-at-large.

As is common, many of the related branches of this large, all-inclusive family, could not attend, and one of my enterprising Players suggested the possibility of pursuing a Deck House reunion, for which Jan herself had advocated the past few years. Based on an enthusiastic response, the possibility and then the likelihood and then the reality of a Benefit Concert to honor Jan and to support ASI’s research efforts was born.

COME TO THE CABARET
– In Honor of Jan D. Marshall to Benefit Alstrom Syndrome Inter- national – will be performed Monday, July 3 at Camp Beech Cliff at 7:00 PM.

The concert will be preceded by some hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar beginning at 5:30 PM which also affords time to peruse and place bids on a number of silent auction items. Tickets to attend are $25.00. They are available in advance at
cometothecabaret.eventbrite.com or at the door. All proceeds will benefit Alstrom Syndrome research efforts!

4th Alstrom Syndrome International Family Conference – May, 2004 – Bar Harbor, Maine US

HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE! [Camp Beech Cliff, 264 Beech Hill Road, Mt. Desert, ME USA]
Thanks for the memories!

Rob Marshall and the Deck House Players

July 3 Memorial for Jan Marshall – Full Details!

Dear Erica, Alstrom Family, Players and Friends,

Robin Marshall

Robin Marshall

APOLOGIES!! I am sorry to have been largely MIA since last Fall. As most know, Jan passed away back in September. Several months prior to her death, we lost her father, our beloved “Umpy.” Not long after Jan’s passing, our dog, “Maggie,” also moved on. Several very dear friends and near cousins also passed late in 2016 and in early 2017.

In April, I became aware that I seemed to be losing my own battle with dilated cardiomyopathy, a battle I have waged for 20 years. In early May I ended up in the ER with a heart rate of 30, which led to 10 days of incarceration in cardiac critical care. Along the way, I received a pacer/defibrillator implant, whom I have named “Albert” and, despite being a bit sore still, I am now thriving and feeling confident about being around for another 20 years.

Many, but certainly not all, of you are aware that for 35 years I, with Jan by my side, was the owner, manager, and producer of the Deck House Restaurant and Cabaret Theater, a largely summer seasonal enterprise that matched up well with my teaching career (Language Arts) and my early contributions to the Alstrom effort. The restaurant was staffed with young and very talented singers, dancers, and actors drawn initially from the talent pool here on Mt. Desert Island but later expanding to the whole country and, indeed, beyond to the world. Today, many of these actors have appeared on Broadway, sing with the Metropolitan Opera, or tour the world sharing their gifts. Those who attended the 2004 conference in Bar Harbor likely remember their visit to the Deck House, their time with the Players rehearsing “Across the Wide Oceans,” and their performance of some of that season’s material at the banquet

When Jan died, a number of these Players stepped up to the honor of performing at Jan’s memorial service in September, which coincided with the A-Team Retreat ASI hosted here in Maine at Camp Beech Cliff. It was so very fitting for the A-Teamers and some of their parents to have “front row” seats, and those in attendance became keenly aware that Jan had been a mother, a sister, and/or a friend to generations of her immediate family, her Deck House family, her Jackson Lab family, and, most especially, to her Alstrom Family.

As is common, many of these related branches of the family, could not attend, and one of my enterprising Players suggested the possibility of pursuing a reunion, for which Jan herself had advocated the past few years. Based on an enthusiastic response, the possibility and then the likelihood and then the reality of a Benefit Concert was born.

Jan and Robin Marshall

Jan and Robin Marshall

The Concert – In Honor of Jan D. Marshall to Benefit Alstrom Syndrome International – will be presented Monday, July 3 at Camp Beech Cliff at 7:00 PM.

The concert will be preceded by some hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar beginning at 5:30 PM which also affords time to peruse and place bids on a number of silent auction items. Tickets to attend are $25.00, all proceeds to benefit Alstrom Syndrome research efforts.  As always, everyone should feel comfortable donating more, and, as usual, those in tough circumstances can attend for free. If you wish to contribute a silent auction item, you need to get it in the mail early this week. Send items to 14 Whitney Farm Road, Mt. Desert, ME 04660. If you cannot attend but wish to make a donation, you can use the options you will find on the Home Page at www.alstrom.org or send a check! USA donations are tax deductible!

HOPE TO SEE YOU AND LOVE TO ALL!

Memorial Concert for Jan Marshall, July 3, 2017!

Jan and Robin Marshall

Jan and Robin Marshall

Come one, come all, and join us at Camp Beech Cliff, Mount Dessert Island, ME on July 3! We’ll be having a memorial concert and benefit in memory of Jan Marshall, our beloved founder and “Mama” to so many.

The 7:00 PM concert will be preceded by some hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar beginning at 5:30 PM which also affords time to peruse and place bids on a number of silent auction items.

Tickets to attend are $25.00, all proceeds to benefit Alstrom Syndrome research efforts.

As always, everyone should feel comfortable donating more, and, as usual, those in tough circumstances can attend for free.

If you wish to contribute a silent auction item, you need to get it in the mail the week of June 18. Send items to 14 Whitney Farm Road, Mt. Desert, ME 04660. If you cannot attend but wish to make a donation, you can donate online or send a check! USA donations are tax deductible!

Aspirin Social Innovation Award 2016!

Aspirin Social Innovation Award: Share & Vote Now

Aspirin Social Innovation Award 2016!

With this prestigious jury award the Bayer foundation honors every year the 5 most promising social impact innovators from health and food/nutrition related areas worldwide.

The Genetic Alliance is one of our 25 nominees in 2016 for The Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER) – congratulations to this success!

Now, the selection process is about to start and in the end 5 of our 25 nominees will be receiving an award with 20,000€ prize money each. Further information will follow shortly.

Vote TODAY!!!