Amberly Angelina was born in 2015 and diagnosed with Phenylketonuria (PKU) when she was 7 days old. PKU is a rare, inherited a metabolic disorder that is characterized by the inability of the body to utilize the essential amino acid, phenylalanine (Phe), found in high protein foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, milk, dried beans, and peas. When left untreated, PKU patients who consume too much Phe are at risk of severe neurological complications, including IQ loss, memory loss, concentration problems, mood disorders, and in some cases, severe mental retardation. Amberly’s parents didn’t want anyone else to experience the traumatic moments they went through and built the My PKU Awareness Foundation to help newly diagnosed families. At the Foundation, chefs from all over the world come to cook meals without protein to prevent patients from getting brain damage. These meals are given to local PKUers and some are shipped to those who needed the most. The remainder is given to kids from the elementary school nearby and the community. The Foundation not only provides a meal to these kids but now provides housing vouchers for young adults who have aged out of the adoption system.
Andrea De La Torre
Raising Awareness, Inspiring Hope