Loudoun County high school student with rare disorder parachutes onto Potomac Falls football field
STERLING, Va. - A Loudoun County high school student with a very rare nervous system disorder checked off a major item from his bucket list Monday.
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Ryan Alam, a student at Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, was diagnosed with NBIA, a rare neurodegenerative disease several years ago. The type Ryan has, called MPAN, is even rarer - with fewer than 100 known cases worldwide.
In 2019, his school's football team, the Potomac Falls Panthers, made him honorary captain. On Monday, Ryan joined the Golden Knights, the official aerial parachute demonstration team of the United States Army, for a tandem skydive onto the school's football field.
Ryan and his family began a fundraising mission in 2019 to raise money for research to fight his deadly disorder. The money donated does not go to his own treatment, but rather to research aimed at helping others who are or will be fighting the same condition. Over $500,000 has been raised so far.