Teen raises funds for pediatric pain program at Mattel hospital

Ashley Goodall, 16, who suffers from a rare condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD), recently donated a check for $2,500 to the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. The funds were raised through a recent concert organized by the Bakersfield, Calif., teen's nonprofit organization, Rock Out to Knock Out RSD, which she founded a year ago. The group’s mission includes raising money for research at UCLA, as well as purchasing durable medical goods for those who can't afford them and generating awareness about the disease. "Ashley is an amazing young woman who took her pain condition and turned it into a project that can help others," said Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer, director of the pain program. "Despite having times of severe pain, Ashley has organized a nonprofit and launched an annual benefit to help support research in adolescents with this type of condition. In all the years that I have practiced pediatric pain medicine, this is a first. Ashley is wonderful."Also known as complex regional pain syndrome, RSD is a chronic condition characterized by severe and relentless pain. It affects between 200,000 and 1.2 million Americans. The condition results from a nervous system malfunction in which nerves misfire, sending constant pain signals to the brain. The syndrome initially develops in response to an event the body regards as traumatic, such as an accident or a medical procedure. The major symptoms of RSD include a burning or aching pain which is out of proportion to its stimulus, limited range of motion and muscle strength, and sensitivity to cold — even a breeze from a fan can cause terrible pain. The condition usually affects an extremity but can spread throughout the body. Treatment may include medication, physical therapy, psychological support, sympathetic nerve blocks or the use of a dorsal column stimulator. Goodall's donation will help fund research at UCLA for treatments that make use of the Internet and peer support to help adolescents with RSD. "I didn't want to just sit around and mope about having RSD, I wanted to do something about it," Goodall said. "So I paired something that I love — concerts — with something that I hate — RSD — and started my own foundation." Rock Out to Knock Out RSD has another fundraising concert planned for Oct. 13, from 7:30 to 11 p.m., at the Downtown Brewing Company in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Two Bakersfield bands will perform — Seed and Mystic Red. For ticket information, visit www.ticketweb.com/. The UCLA Pediatric Pain Program at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA offers state-of-the-art medicine in combination with the regenerative power of complementary therapies to help treat children suffering from chronic pain. A wide variety of complementary therapies is used, ranging from acupuncture to art therapy. In addition, the Pediatric Pain Program conducts research on integrative therapies and sponsors educational programs for health professionals and the public. For more information, please visit www.mattel.ucla.edu/pedspain/home.php.