Racing to Raise FTD Awareness

AFTD-Team member James Staten runs to raiseFTD Awareness

In 2018, James Staten – a leader in business infrastructure technology, prolific writer, and speaker at numerous conferences – had difficulty recalling certain words and forming sentences. He also had frequent headaches and was increasingly troubled by what he describes as “word failure.”

While doctors initially attributed his symptoms to work-related stress, James and his wife Reesa continued to search for an answer to explain his worsening symptoms. Following two years of specialist visits, James was diagnosed with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia in 2020.

Always an avid runner and biker, James relies on exercise and a healthy diet to help improve his daily quality of life. “My brain feels better when I bike or run. I enjoy biking with friends – sometimes we’ll go 40 to 50 miles – and running in Sacramento and the Bay Area.”

James’s passion for exercising is mirrored by his commitment to participating in research and raising FTD awareness as he travels across the country to compete in marathons.

“When I tell people about this disease, I want them to know how it affects me. I want them to know it’s PPA that’s causing me to not be able to remember something or say what I want to.”

On November 20, James will be running the 2022 Philadelphia Marathon – his 71st race – sharing his experience living with FTD while raising funds to support AFTD’s mission.

“It means so much to me to run with AFTD. I know that I am helping more people learn about FTD and I hope I can be a help to researchers, because my wish is for this disease to go away.”

This Giving Tuesday – a day to recognize and support mission-focused organizations worldwide – AFTD will share stories from people affected by FTD. Join us on November 29 to learn more about what inspires James and others to transform hope into action – and be sure to share your FTD story on your social media accounts.

Every voice is vital to increasing awareness and advancing our work to bring forward a world with compassionate care, effective support, and a future free of FTD.

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