We did it! Thank you from Garland

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for everything y’all have done for me and my family to get to my $1 million goal. On New Year’s Eve, I was a little bit worried that I wouldn’t make it to my goal, but all of sudden, when I checked my website, I was getting hundreds of donations and messages from people that I barely even knew. I was the one that got to tell my sister the news and it was the proudest moment of my life. Not only did you help Christiane but hundreds of other kids who have Batten disease will benefit from your generosity too.

Thank you so much for your kindness and support!

Sincerely,

Garland Benson

RARE Webinar: An Educational Webinar for the Batten Disease Community

BBDF recently participated in an informational webinar hosted by Global Genes. Mary Beth Kiser, BBDF President and CEO, was among several panelists, including representatives from Amicus Therapeutics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA), providing updated information on Batten disease research and family resources.

Click here to download the slides or click the video link below to watch the full webinar.

Good Food, Good Times, and Good People at Honest Mary’s Fundraiser

Garland Benson was joined by family and friends as well as members of the community on Tuesday, Dec 18 for a fundraising event at Honest Mary’s. The Austin-based restaurant, which celebrates healthy eating with its menu of grain-based bowls, donated 100% of its evening profits to Garland’s Be A Hero campaign. It was a record breaking Tuesday for Honest Mary’s, and together we raised $385!

Garland Benson Shares His Story on CBS News

Garland Benson shared his story with the world last night on CBS News, calling on each of us to help put an end to Batten disease and not just save the life of his sister, Christiane, but all those living with this traumatic and fatal illness. Click the story links below and discover how this incredible young advocate and loving brother took it upon himself to raise the final $1 million of a $6 million campaign to fund an FDA approved clinical trial.

CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/beyond-batten-disease-foundation-garland-batten-christiane-batten-fundraiser-austin-texas/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGaf7Ti-Xk4

Let’s Welcome Bianca and Her Son, Manuel, to the BBDF Community.

Bianca Vidal recently wrote to us and was kind enough to let us share her story. Let’s give her and her son a warm welcome.

“My son Manuel is a 17-year-old young man who was recently diagnosed with this terrible disease. Even though at 10 years old he started losing his vision, I never imagine it could be something else. Last year his health started to decline dramatically – it was then that a Doctor found the disease in him. He is declining faster than I thought. He can barely walk and talk now, and he does not recognize who I am most of the time. It is heartbreaking to see him like this. Even though he has good and bad days, his positive attitude is always there. And he always has a big smile for everybody and loves to show off his ‘muscles’.”

Dr. Marco Sardiello’s Research on Batten Disease Paves Way for New Treatments

A team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has uncovered an unexpected mechanism that can explain a form of Batten disease called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis 8. The findings published in the journal Nature Cell Biology provide potential new targets for future therapeutic interventions for this rare and incurable disease.

Click here to read the full article.