Tampa, Florida - It's a disease that affects about 1 in 50,000 Americas, and just 15,000 worldwide, and the effort to cure it is strong in the Bay area.

A fundraiser was held on Saturday night at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa for research pursuits to cure Friedreich's Ataxia. It is a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular genetic disorder. The symptoms typically begin to manifest in children between the ages of 5-15 years-old.

"My skills were going downhill and at age 14, 15 you should be doing nothing but improving," said Kyle Bryant, who was diagnosed at 17, later than most.

When he discovered he had the disease, not much was known about it and it took several doctors to figure out what was wrong.

Read More: Tampa at center of research to cure rare disease