Welcome to the National Ataxia Foundation


Joel Sutherland named Executive Director of the National Ataxia Foundation

The National Ataxia Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Joel Sutherland has been named Executive Director of NAF. Joel joined NAF in March 2016 as National Director of Development after spending four years as Executive Director of the Minnesota / Dakota Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Along with his experience in disease-specific patient advocacy and fundraising Joel brings great energy and enthusiasm…and the goal to “build the development engine of NAF to better serve our families and fund research”. His experience in sports and corporate marketing also gives Joel a unique perspective on how NAF can tell the Ataxia story to build awareness and make a meaningful impact on Ataxia families and researchers. Joel wants everyone touched by Ataxia to keep his personal mantra in mind: “Money buys research …. Research finds answers.” (Full Announcement)


International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD)

The "International Ataxia Awareness Day" is an international effort from ataxia organizations around the world to dedicate September 25 as International Ataxia Awareness Day. The goal of IAAD is for every individual to participate in some activity, creating awareness about ataxia. You could share something you know about ataxia with one other person who has never heard of it, educate a group of people by speaking at a school or civic group, contact the media, or raise financial support. International Ataxia Awareness Day has grown over the years, and more ideas keep coming in. IAAD events can be found on NAF’s Event Calendar.


Awareness Tools

To help you get the word out about Ataxia, NAF offers a variety of tools to support your awareness efforts on the IAAD Page. Ataxia awareness messages are available on the IAAD Page for you to share by taking a photo or video of yourself or your group with your message(s). Be sure to share your pictures and videos with us by emailing naf@ataxia.org. Hard copies of these messages can be requested by contacting the NAF at naf@ataxia.org or calling (763)553-0020.


We welcome you to share your experiences by submitting your IAAD activities to naf@ataxia.org.


Charity Navigator Awards NAF Four-Star Rating

Charity Navigator, America’s premier charity evaluator, has announced that the National Ataxia Foundation received a four out of four star rating. This is the fourth consecutive year NAF has received this exceptional four-star rating.

“NAF’s coveted 4-star rating puts it in a very select group of high-performing charities,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Out of the thousands of nonprofits Charity Navigator evaluates, only one out of four earns 4 stars -- a rating that demands rigor, responsibility and commitment to openness. NAF’s supporters should feel much more confident that their hard-earned dollars are being used efficiently and responsibly when it acquires such a high rating.”


Member Stories

NAF would like to invite members to share their story to let others know that they are not alone and increase Ataxia awareness. NAF would like to extend a huge thank you to our members that have so generously shared their story. Share your member story by email to naf@ataxia.org. Member Stories can be read on the Member Stories Page.

 David Henry Jr.  DeCresenzo Family
 David Henry Jr.
 DeCresenzo Family
Mary Fuchs
Michelle DeCiantis
 Mary Fuchs
 Michelle DeCiantis


Ataxia Research Studies Awarded
Funding for FY 2016

The National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) is pleased to announce that 20 promising ataxia research studies from the United States, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Portugal  were awarded funding at the December 2015 NAF Board of Directors meeting for fiscal year 2016.

A listing and summaries of these studies are now available on the Foundation’s web site: Here...