During the closing ceremonies of the National Ataxia Foundation’s (NAF) 2021 Annual Ataxia Conference—held virtually March 10-13—Catholic Law student Lauren Sormani (3L) was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award for her dedication to the Ataxia community.
Sormani, a New Jersey native, was diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 8 in 2017 and plans to focus on health compliance law after graduation. She is in the Compliance, Investigations, and Corporate Responsibility Certificate Program at Catholic Law. In 2018, Sormani founded the “Under 30 with Ataxia” support group to help connect younger individuals with Ataxia, and in 2019 she spearheaded advocacy efforts with NAF which led to successful Ataxia Hill Days in both 2019 and virtually in 2020. Those Hill Day events also led to the passing of the first National Ataxia Awareness Day resolution by the U.S. Senate in 2020.
During the award presentation, Andrew Rosen, Executive Director of NAF, praised Sormani for her hard work and well-deserved recognition. He said, “Having worked closely with Lauren since I started NAF, the term ‘force of nature' would be an apt description of her. Her commitment and enthusiasm for doing everything possible to improve the lives of those living with Ataxia have made her a NAF Super Volunteer. We thank Lauren for her continued dedication to the Ataxia community.”
Sormani shared, "It is an honor to receive this award. I am looking forward to continuing advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill to raise awareness about ataxia and to hopefully improve the lives of ataxia patients.”