Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact if I have any questions?
The investigators of the CFR are available to answer your questions and assist you with completing your Registry account. If you have any questions regarding the consent process or the Registry’s IRB-approval, please email email@example.com or call 727-612-4606.
What is the Champ Foundation Research Repository (biospecimen repository)?
The Champ Foundation Research Repository is a biological sample collection program housed at Boston Children's Hospital. Biospecimens are very important for future experiments and research to help find a treatment and a cure for SLSMD disorders.
By signing the informed consent, you provide permission for the CFR to share your contact information (name, mailing address, email and phone number) with the Boston Children's Hospital research staff. The research staff will contact you for next steps to donate biospecimens.
How much time will it take to participate?
The time to complete surveys will vary. We try to keep them as short and simple as possible. Each survey is expected to take between 10 to 20 minutes. Not all surveys need to be completed at the same time and progress can be saved.
How often should I visit the CFR to update my information?
We request that you visit the CFR every 3 months. This helps to ensure your contact and health information are current. You may also periodically receive emails requesting you to log in and answer some additional survey questions. Your ongoing participation helps ensure that CFR data remains responsive to current research needs.
What type of information will I receive by registering?
You may receive (1) general care guidelines and educational resources specific to SLSMD disorders; (2) information about meetings/conferences specific to SLSMD disorders; (3) notifications of clinical studies and trials; and (4) notifications about future natural history studies and potential travel grants to Centers of Excellence for clinical care.
Will I be paid or compensated for my participation in the CFR?
There is no compensation for enrolling in the CFR, nor is there compensation for sharing your contact information to donate biospecimens.
The CFR may conduct raffles to provide small incentives to complete a particular survey. Up to every 3 months, the CFR may randomly select 1 to 2 participants who completed a specific survey to win a gift card.
What kinds of questions might the CFR help answer?
There are many questions that may be answered through the CFR. For example:
- What is the global population of individuals with SLSMD disorders, and broken down by phenotype (Pearson syndrome, KSS, CPEO)?
- What is the natural history progression of SLSMD disorders?
- What are potential new pathways for treatments and cures?
How much data do I need to share, and how much is enough?
The more information you can contribute about your SLSMD disorder, the better!
The CFR will continue to evolve as research advances. Additional surveys may be added and existing ones may change based on future need. Some will be shorter because only a few answers are needed; others will be more comprehensive, as needed, for research.
What kinds of information will I be asked to contribute?
You may be asked to contribute information about demographics including contact information, diagnostics, family history, symptoms, disease progression, medical history, and current treatments in surveys. You may also be asked to link and/or upload medical records, such as genetic testing reports, clinical notes, imaging, and/or testing reports. Additionally, after you sign the CFR informed consent, we will share your contact information with Boston Children’s Hospital to donate biospecimens.
Why do I need to agree to an informed consent statement to participate in the CFR?
The CFR wants to make sure that you clearly understand how and why your health data is being requested. We also want you to be fully informed about the risks and benefits of participation. Documented informed consent will allow your data to be used in future research. The informed consent statement, along with other materials, have been reviewed and approved by Castle Institutional Review Board.
Will the CFR share my data with researchers and doctors?
The CFR may share your data with researchers, doctors, or scientific laboratories who are researching SLSMD disorders and/or mitochondrial diseases. Interested parties are required to submit a written research proposal to The Champ Foundation. Before providing data to researchers, a Research Committee reviews the proposal to determine whether sharing data is in the best interest of the affected community.
Will the CFR share my data with pharmaceutical companies?
Researchers from pharmaceutical companies and other commercial entities are invited to request data from the CFR. We hope our data helps research and clinical trial progress more quickly and more efficiently. Interested parties are required to submit a written research proposal to The Champ Foundation. Before providing data to researchers, a Research Committee reviews the proposal to determine whether sharing data is in the best interest of the affected community.
If I join the CFR, what am I committing to?
Your participation in the CFR may include the following:
- Creating an account and providing your consent
- Completing research surveys
- Participating in an interactive, web-based forum on the CFR website
- Uploading or linking your electronic health records
- Sharing of your contact information to researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital who can coordinate optional biospecimen donation.
Your participation is entirely optional and you may withdraw at any time.
Can I interact with other participants in the CFR?
The CFR website will include an interactive, web-based platform for all CFR participants to communicate. You have the option to post about your questions, respond to others, and interact with all members of the CFR community. At registration, you may use your identifiable name or an alias when interacting on the forum.
Additionally, participants will be able to monitor their own health history in comparison to the aggregated and de-identified survey responses from all CFR members.
How can I contribute suggestions for improving the CFR?
The CFR would appreciate your suggestions. A key component of the CFR is its community-centric focus, and we strongly encourage participants to provide feedback. After registration, you can provide feedback and suggestions in the forum. Alternatively, please email your comments, questions, or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can my medical providers engage with the CFR?
Your healthcare providers can participate by helping to spread the word about the CFR. Please feel free to ask your healthcare team to contact us at email@example.com to obtain recruitment information.
Your healthcare provider may also request data from the registry to assist in their IRB-approved research, and contribute to our ongoing data collection efforts.
How often will I receive updates from the CFR?
You will receive updates via text messaging, phone call and/or email about every 3 months. Updates from the CFR may include (1) requests to update your demographic, health, or genetic data; (2) requests or reminders about new surveys, to finish incomplete surveys, or to start a new survey; (3) information about how to link or upload your medical records and/or for specific medical record requests; (4) information pertaining to the biospecimen bank.
You may also receive periodic updates via text messaging, phone call and/or emails pertaining to updates about the CFR, news about research findings, general care guidelines or educational resources, information about meetings/conferences, opportunities to participate in clinical studies or trials, and/or notifications about future natural history studies and possible travel grants to centers of excellence.
What are the potential risks to participating in the CFR?
- CFR participation and questionnaires – Information you choose to share on the CFR forums may allow another participant to identify you. Information shared by other participants in the forum may make you uncomfortable. Additionally, it is possible that reviewing health related events and completing surveys may cause emotional distress, embarrassment, or discomfort. These risks are anticipated to be minimal. You may decide to not complete a survey at any time.
- Confidentiality of data, including personal information – There is a risk of loss of confidentiality. The security and privacy of your personal information and data is an important concern for us. Reasonable efforts will be made to protect you and your health information to the extent possible. The Champ Foundation and the company developing the CFR website and computer systems will take reasonable technical precautions to keep your data secure. Absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
- Unforeseeable/unknown risks – There may be risks that are unknown at this time. You will be notified of any significant new findings that become known that may affect your willingness to continue in the study.
What are the potential benefits to registering and participating in the CFR?
Benefits to registering may include:
- Participating in the community forum.
- Participants may be able to compare their survey responses to the aggregated and unidentified survey responses provided by other individuals registered in the CFR.
- Receiving general care guidelines and educational resources specific to SLSMD disorders.
- Receiving information about meetings/conferences specific to SLSMD disorders.
- Storing and accessing your medical records in a secure database, retrievable by you at any time and from anywhere with an Internet connection.
- Receiving notifications of clinical studies and trials and receiving notifications about future natural history studies and potential travel grants to Centers of Excellence for clinical care.
Why should I participate in the CFR?
We need your help to learn more about individuals with SLSMD and provide researchers and pharmaceutical companies the data to pursue novel avenues towards a cure.
We believe you should register because:
- As a person living with a SLSMD disorder, you know your disease better than anyone. When you take surveys about your daily experiences and symptoms and share your medical records, you can help create a key resource for research. Every piece of data expands the information that researchers can draw from.
- Your voice matters in rare disease research! SLSMD disorders are rare so each person who chooses to participate can greatly expand the information available to researchers.
- It’s secure and easy to participate. Registration is simple and completed entirely online. With your informed consent to participate in research, you can contribute health data through surveys and by uploading medical records. The CFR is built to protect your identity and privacy.
- Your data can help bring us closer to a cure. The CFR data may help research and clinical trial progress more quickly and more efficiently. The data will be a powerful tool for clinical trials, treatments, and improved care.
Do I have a choice to register?
Participation in the CFR is completely voluntary. It is your choice to participate. You may also withdraw and stop participating for any reason and at any time.
Who can register in the CFR?
The following individuals are eligible to register in the CFR:
- An individual with a single large-scale mitochondrial DNA deletion (SLSMD) disorder
- A parent or legal guardian of an individual with a SLSMD disorder, who has not attained the legal age of consent (under 18 years of age in most instances).
- A parent or legally authorized representative of an adult-aged affected individual who is not able to understand their participation or legally provide consent.
- A parent or legal guardian of an affected individual who is deceased.
Who is funding the CFR?
The Champ Foundation is the sponsor of the CFR. The Champ Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to support research to find treatment and a cure for SLSMD disorders.
What are the goals of the CFR?
The CFR has 4 main goals:
Identify individuals with single large-scale mitochondrial deletion disorders, such as Pearson syndrome, Kearns-Sayre syndrome, and CPEO
Gather past and future information on individuals with SLSMD through voluntary registration, self-reported survey questionnaires, patient-mediated medical record collection, and optional biospecimen sharing
Make data collected through the CFR available to researchers and clinicians who are studying SLSMD disorders to answer questions regarding the disease, including its causes, potential treatments, and other topics
Be the primary hub of clinical trial recruitment for individuals with SLSMD disorders
What is the Champ Foundation Registry (CFR)?
The CFR is a research study to investigate single large-scale mitochondrial DNA deletion (SLSMD) disorders, such as Pearson syndrome, Kearns-Sayre syndrome, and CPEO. To our knowledge, it is the only registry in the world that aims to gather data specifically on individuals affected by SLSMD disorders.
If I have new medical reports, can I add them to my CFR profile?
Yes, absolutely! We are always happy to receive additional reports.
The CFR is an effective, secure repository to store all of your medical reports in one place, allowing you to easily share those records with your healthcare providers any time and anywhere with an Internet connection.
What are my rights to obtain my medical records from my hospital or medical institution?
In the United States, with limited exceptions, the HIPAA Privacy Rule (the Privacy Rule) provides individuals with a legal, enforceable right to see and receive copies upon request of the information in their medical and other health records maintained by their health care providers and health plans. For more information, see: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/guidance/access/index.html
How do I share my medical records?
There are 2 options to share your medical records. You can share your medical record in one or both ways. Sharing medical records is voluntary.
- Upload PDFs. You can upload PDFs (or scans) of any medical records, such as clinical notes, imaging, genetic results, and/or testing reports. Records are stored on a secure database, and will be available to you at any time by logging into your CFR profile.
- Link your electronic health records via application programing interfaces (APIs). You may be able to connect your on-line portal from your care provider or other repository of electronic health information to the CFR.
- Types of information that will be examined in your medical records include but are not limited to patient identifiers, demographics, diagnoses, medications, procedures, outpatient and in-patient visits, laboratory results, vital signs, doctor notes.
The CFR will provide helpful instructions to upload and/or link your records. The CFR will host instructional teleconference meetings to help upload and/or link records
Why should I submit medical records to the CFR?
- Your medical records include a wealth of data that is relevant to researchers, scientists and pharmaceutical companies interested in SLSMD diseases. Medical records submitted to the CFR can help to better understand the complete natural history of SLSMD diseases and enable researchers to pursue novel avenues towards a cure.
- You can also use the CFR to securely store records, retrievable by you at any time from anywhere with an Internet connect.
- Uploading or linking your medical records is entirely voluntary and not required to register in the CFR.
How does the CFR protect my privacy and personal health information?
We take your privacy very seriously and have policies and processes in place to safeguard your identity and protect the health information you share with us. Your personally identifying information and personal health information are only shared with your consent. Please review the informed consent document for more information.
How does the CFR ensure my private medical information remains secure?
The CFR takes your privacy very seriously and has policies and processes in place to safeguard your identity and protect your health data. Any information shared with our research partners, including any identifying information, will be handled carefully per our informed consent.
How long will the information I share be stored in the CFR?
Information you share will be stored in the CFR for as long as the CFR exists and you authorize participation. If for any reason this registry is discontinued, you will be notified and you will have the opportunity to download information stored in your CFR profile.