A local family is seeking used shoes to help in an effort to raise funds to find a cure for a very rare disorder their 4-year-old son has been diagnosed with.

It's a disorder that's so rare that there are only three known cases in the United States and only 14 internationally, according to mother Carrie Fick.

Dante Fick, 4, has been diagnosed with Spastic Paraplegia Type 52 (SPG52), which is caused by a mutation of the AP4S1 gene. 

Carrie said its physical symptoms present similarly to cerebral palsy, with the main difference being that Dante's is a progressive disorder, while cerebral palsy is a static disorder. 

"So his symptoms could worsen over time," she said. 

They are looking to raise money for research efforts. 

Carrie and her husband, Mike Fick, have partnered with Funds2Orgs, a leading shoe drive fundraising social enterprise in the country. 

The organizations takes the shoes donated and then sells them to micro enterprises in impoverished countries. 

Through March 31, they are asking for community members to donate new or gently used shoes to any of the select donation locations in the community. 

"The easiest way to say is if you would give them to a friend than they will take them," Carrie explained. "Obviously they can be used, but gently (used). No holes. The soles of the shoes still have to be there. So basically still wearable ... They don't have to be in perfect condition but still usable because they are giving them to other people who are going to clean them up and resell them." 

Any shoes, with the exception of ice skates and roller skates, can be donated. 

The following locations can be visited to donate used shoes to: 

• Lockport YMCA, 5833 Snyder Drive 

• Advantage Physical Therapy, 5556 Davison Road 

• City Hall, 1 Locks Plaza 

• Violet & Vita Hair Studio, 147 Washburn St.

The Ficks also have a GoFundMe page set at https://www.gofundme.com/f/patient-warrior039s-fight-to-cure-spg52?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet. 

An online blog has also been created at patientwarrior52.com

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