By TED POTTS
Published: April 07, 2006
DAVIDSVILLE – Seniors who are residents at Laurel View Village, 2000 Cambridge Drive, will receive daffodils on Sunday in honor of a teenager who died on Christmas 2001 from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Between 15 and 20 young people will deliver the daffodils in honor of Marah Edythe Griffith, who was a junior at Conemaugh Township Area High School. She was the daughter of J.D. and Brenda Griffith of Somerset Pike.
Sunday’s daffodil giveaway is officially named the Ninth Annual CMT Daffodils for Seniors event. It was his daughter’s idea to have area youngsters give daffodils to senior citizens, said her father, a stockbroker and owner of Montauk Financial/Griffith Investments at 142 Gazebo Park, downtown Johnstown.
He said his daughter, who was 16, loved organizing the daffodil events, working with the children and particularly enjoyed the pleasure the events give to nursing-home residents.
CMT is the most common inherited neurological disorder and affects at least 150,000 people throughout the United States, said Mr. Griffith, who heads the Johnstown-based Charcot-Marie-Tooth Foundation. The foundation operates from Griffith’s Gazebo Park offices.
A CMT clinic has been established at The John P. Murtha Neuroscience & Pain Institute at 1450 Scalp Ave., Richland Township. The local CMT Support Group, with more than 90 members, is the largest in the country, Mr. Griffith said.
People with CMT lose control and movement of their hands, feet, arms and legs as the disease progresses. Over time, muscles deteriorate.
The impact is similar to muscular dystrophy.
But while MD is a deterioration of the muscles, CMT is a deterioration of the nervous system that causes muscle deterioration.
Most of the daffodils that will be taken to Laurel View Village on Sunday will be from an abundant supply of the perennials that bloom each year in the Griffith’s yard.
Mr. Griffith said Thursday that the residents welcome the flowers.
“Getting the daffodils from the youngsters makes the seniors so happy,” he said. “Some of the women even cry.”
He added the residents enjoy the companionship the young people provide as well.
People wishing to make a donation to the foundation can do so by calling 536-7741 or accessing cmtfoundation.org.
Ted Potts can be reached at 532-5053 or firstname.lastname@example.org.