PKU is a cause near and dear to my heart because my daughter, Emily, was born with it. PKU stands for phenylketonuria. PKU is a rare condition in which a baby is born without the ability to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. Babies with PKU are missing an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase, which is needed to break down an essential amino acid called phenylalanine. The substance is found in foods that contain protein. Without the enzyme, levels of phenylalanine and two closely-related substances build up in the body. These substances are harmful to the central nervous system and cause brain damage. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is inherited, which means it is passed down through families. Both parents must pass on the defective gene in order for a baby to have the condition. There is a 1 in 10,000 chance of a baby being born with PKU in the U.S. PKU patients follow a strict low protein diet as well as drink medical formula daily that keeps their brains healthy and strong. It is so rare that many patients struggle with insurance companies covering the medical food or formula that is crucial and necessary to treating PKU. More public awareness is needed for this very rare disease. I would like the proceeds to go to National PKU Alliance to help raise money for more research in the treatment and maybe a cure one day for PKU.