Ricky may have left for the bridge in 2002, but his spirit remains strong. Dale, a lifelong pet advocate described in more detail here - Steve Dale and Pet World - along with the Winn Feline Foundation, established the Ricky's Fund, to specify donations for research on the disease and hope for a cure. Since that time, more than $100,000 in donations have spurred research to discover a gene mutation involved in two breeds of cats - Ragdolls and Maine Coons - which can then be tested for the likelihood of this genetic tendency. Although not complete, as there could very well be other mutations that could occur and other breeds may involve something different altogether, it is certainly a start.
In the meantime, many cats die prematurely because of this condition. Thanks to a very talented cat named Ricky, and his adoring human, the Winn Feline Foundation supports this drive toward hopefully some day eradicating such a senseless shortening of a loving cat's life. For more information about the fund, go to
Winn Feline Foundation. I strongly recommend you visit Steve Dale's story of his beloved friend; to paraphrase him would absolutely not do it justice. It is a moving tribute to a wonderful animal, a beautiful bond.