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Article of Interest - Fragile X

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Bridges4Kids LogoX-tra Special Advice: Cooking for a Cause
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Shortly after Andrew’s diagnosis, our free time began shifting focus.

Slowly, it was spent less on leisure and more in the “special needs” world, such as writing this column.

National Fragile X Research Day was celebrated on October 5. In honor of the day, there are many Fall Fling fundraisers being held all around the country with one thing in common – proceeds going to FRAXA Research Foundation to help find a cure for Fragile X Syndrome.

Mary Beth and Sally Nantais of Wyandotte, Michigan, affectionately known to each other as “the mom to the north” and “the mom to the south” decided their lives did not have enough chaos. Ted and Jerry, their husbands, may disagree. Mary Beth and Sally decided to organize a FX family cookbook to raise money and awareness and create something the whole FX family could share.

Food eXtraordinaire is their creation. The project took many hours, many e-mails and many trips from Grosse Pointe to Wyandotte (and vice versa). They are happy their cookbook is hot off the press!

Ted, being in the business of communications, was able to get the first printing generously donated by Clark Graphics in Warren, Michigan  This means 100 percent of the sales of the first 250 books will go directly to FRAXA.

Head over to Sara’s Sweets at 20737 Mack Avenue (313-881-2888) in Grosse Pointe Woods for your copy. Owner Mary Schalz-Szakacs has generously agreed to sell the cookbooks, alongside the Alinosi candy and ice cream.

For those outside the Grosse Pointe area, FRAXA is selling the cookbooks or 978-462-1866).

For $15, you will receive a crisp red, white and black spiral cookbook with 154 recipes from more than 90 contributors from families in Australia to New Hampshire to New Mexico and many other eXtraordinary people.

We have recipes from FX families, FX gurus and local flavor from politicians (including U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and State Representative Ed Gaffney), Sara’s Sweets, The Hill’s Michael Connery, and from a few members of the WNBA Detroit Shock.

Food eXtraordinaire has an array of recipes, from Toasted Ravioli to Spanakopita to Chicken Cacciatore to Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (extremely easy per Mary Beth, who normally fears baking from scratch and had no trouble with them!).

Food eXtraordinaire is a great awareness piece with “Food for Thought” and “Fragile X Information” sections.

It’s appropriate something in which Mary Beth had a hand is being sold next to ice cream. Her mom, Emma Martinelli Langan, handled ice cream as a soda jerk in the ‘50s. Her grandpa, Albino Martinelli, was an ice cream maker for 30 years, five of them with Alinosi, a Detroit-based company since 1921.

Sara’s Sweets is open Tuesday through Sunday from Noon until 9 p.m. Cash and checks made payable to “FRAXA” will be accepted.

Perhaps in your free time, you will consider cooking for a cause.

Grosse Pointe residents Theodore G. Coutilish and Mary Beth Langan created this column to share experiences from their journey as parents of a child with Fragile X Syndrome at

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