Omaha Club (Sunday, July 18)

Omaha Notre Dame Club

On Sunday, we stopped in Nebraska and had a nice opportunity to meet with the Omaha club—a great group of Notre Dame alumni—to share Notre Dame stories and enjoy Jimmy Johns subs (who doesn’t?). In fact, we may have met two future domers, Sadie (class of 2030) and Teagan (class of 2032). Sadie is already a big Irish fan, who was not afraid of the camera—please see the video of Sadie showing her Notre Dame spirit!

Omaha is the hometown of Fr. Jenkins—the club is very proud of this connection and sends their warmest regards to the Dome.

The club members, including Sadie, signed the van and sent us off with a big “Go Irish!”

Thank you, Omaha, for your hospitality. Go Irish.

Sadie and her dad signed the Desert to Dome van before we left.

What is Niemann-Pick?
Speaking at various alumni clubs and to others interested in what Notre Dame is up to in science we often get the question: what is the Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease? Striking 1 in 150,000 children, NPC is one of 8,000 known rare diseases, a category of illnesses that has been largely ignored by researchers and drug manufacturers as there is little economic incentive to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions of dollars, on diseases that are suffered by a relative few.

NPC is an inherited, cholesterol storage disorder with a tragic prognosis: patients typically die in their teens. Unable to rid itself of cholesterol, the body is incapable of normal metabolism. What begins with an enlarged spleen, sluggishness, and abnormal eye development progresses to muscle failure, leaving children without the ability to speak or even eat unassisted.

NPC has been referred to by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as “Childhood Alzheimer’s” because of similarities in the brains of NPC and Alzheimer patients. NPC research may have implications for Alzheimer’s, as well as a multitude of other conditions including heart disease, stroke, and Tay-Sachs disease.

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