Pecos, Texas, Feb.25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Rod Ponton, the Texas-based attorney whose video went viral after being stuck in a cat filter during an online call, is leveraging his internet fame to help raise the Firefly Fund support. His niece, Pam Andrews, co-founded the nonprofit to fund and support the research and education needed to accelerate the healing of rare neurodegenerative genetic diseases that affect children and are currently incurable. The Firefly Fund’s journey began in 2017 with an emphasis on Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC). The nonprofit is kicking off its annual World Rare Disease Day event on Sunday (February 28), selling T-shirts with pontoons now infamous quote: “I’m here live. I’m not a cat ”to help the organization directly.
“The Cat Lawyer has become an internet sensation bringing much-needed laughter to people around the world,” said Ponton. “The mishap has given me a lot of media attention. I hope to use the opportunity as a stepping stone to keep spreading joy. I love people laughing at my expense, especially when it is used as a means of giving something back. “
Andrews co-founded the Firefly Fund with her husband after their daughters Belle and Abby were diagnosed with NPC in March 2016 at ages 6 and 20 months. Belle was diagnosed after a long search for answers and a significant onset of symptoms including enlargement of the liver and spleen, blurred speech, lack of muscle coordination, tremors, and difficulty developing fine motor skills. Abby, who was tested for the genetic disease after her older sister was diagnosed, was diagnosed and treated before symptoms appeared. The incidence of NPC is estimated at about one case per 100,000 live births. There are currently about 2,000 diagnosed cases of NPC worldwide.
“We are honored that Uncle Rod has given us permission to use his ‘likeness’ to support the Firefly Fund,” said Pam Andrews. “Given the ongoing pandemic, we decided to hold a virtual Rare Disease Day event this year and needed to get creative with our fundraising drives. The time of the “cat call” was accidental. We look forward to using the funds raised to advance our efforts to accelerate the healing of rare neurodegenerative genetic diseases. “
To date, the Cat Lawyer video has been downloaded more than 1 billion times and has generated an estimated 14 billion impressions worldwide.
About Rod Ponton, attorney
Despite his little technical faux paw, Rod Ponton (aka The Cat Lawyer) had a 39-year legal career representing individuals, cities, counties, port authorities, political divisions, and corporations. Ponton is currently serving his third term as District Attorney for Presidio and was previously elected 83rd District Attorney (Counties Brewster, Jeff Davis, Pecos, and Presidio). Ponton operates the Rod Ponton law firm’s private law firm – Big Bend Law, an active civil practice focused on real estate affairs, civil litigation, and family law. He became famous on the internet when a video of him stuck in an online cat filter went viral. Please visit realcatlawyer.com for more information.
Leigh Havelick Rod Ponton, Attorney 5038695291 [email protected]