Taking steps toward a cure


The third annual Hope With Every Step Family Fun Walk was held at Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream last Saturday morning. The 5K raises money for the A-T Children’s Project, and benefits kids who suffer from ataxia telangiectasia, a rare neurological and genetic disease.

The event was organized by Claudia and Michael Rohlinger, of Valley Stream, and Claudia’s mother, Brigitte Diamond, of Queens. The walk began in Hendrickson Park and continued through the Valley Stream State Park before looping back to the starting post.

There were about 80 participants and the walk raised $13,000. Claudia Rohlinger said that in three years, the event has generated close to $40,000. “Until they find a cure, we’re going to continue raising money,” she said.

The event is in honor of two children who suffer from the disease — Hazel Diamond, 6, of Wisconsin, who is Claudia’s niece, and Matthew Zelen, 16, of Melville. This year, there were numerous raffles, and several young girls were making and selling rubber band bracelets, with all proceeds going to A-T research.

Participants enjoyed breakfast before heading out on their walk on warm and sunny November day.

For more information on the disease and how to help, visit