We at Chelsea's Hope wish to thank Toyota Racing for helping us create a beautiful evening under the stars at Chateau St. Jean.
Our "Evening of Miracles" was a true success - thanks to Toyota Racing, Saatchi LA, NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Joey Logano and celebrity racer - and new friend to Chelsea's Hope - William Fichtner.
To read more and see photos, click here:
Chelsea's Hope 2nd Annual Fundraiser
Sunday September 26, 2010
Blackhawk Automotive Museum
Chelsea's Hope 2nd Annual Event on September 26, 2010 raised over $42,000 for Lafora Research. This was made possible due to the kindheartedness and dedication of so many supporters. Whether you participated as a donor, an attendee, or a sponsor, your contribution allows for the continued research in finding a cure for Lafora and we are grateful for your participation and generosity.
Thus far, Chelsea's Hope and YOUR generosity has generated over a quarter of a million dollars for Lafora Research!
A little bit of history was made as for the first time ever Lafora parents and two of the world's leading medical experts came together under the umbrella of Chelsea's Hope...
Dr. Berge Minassian, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada (on left)
& Dr. Antonio Delgado-Escueta, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
From left: Howard Gerber, Barbara Goldsmith, Lisa and Scott Santos, Jim and Kim Rice, Michele Ambroe, Linda Gerber,
Mari and Tom Brackin, Dr. Antonio Delgado-Escueta and Dr. Berge Minassian
I was overwhelmed with emotion at our second annual Chelsea's Hope Fundraiser.
For the first time, both of the world's leading Lafora experts participated in our event; in addition to the doctors, we were able to bring together several of the Lafora families represented on our site.
When Linda and I first considered forming our foundation, our hope was to raise funds, raise awareness and attempt to connect with other families afflicted by Lafora to share information and support. In just over 3-1/2 years, we have far exceeded our own expectations.
The day of our fundraiser blazed with both extreme heat and intense excitement.
Our venue was beautiful. The Blackhawk Auto Museum gleamed with the reflection of expensive cars and the anticipation of the day.
Our fundraising committee outdid themselves with the raffle items they selected, the decor they lovingly created and the organization of the event.
The highlight of our event was providing families with the opportunity to share some private time with Dr. Escueta and Dr. Minassian. The doctors were able to discuss their respective research and their hopes for the future; the parents were able to share information about the current conditions of their child.
This is the first time that there has been an organized effort to bring multiple families and doctors together under the umbrella of a Lafora event.
This disease is so rare that for years families not only struggled with the ramifications of the disease, but they also struggled with the sense of isolation that battling a rare, and virtually unknown, disease creates. There was almost no one to talk to who truly understood the afflictions of this disease...
Twelve parents, representing seven families, sat around a table, listening to other parents discuss the needs of their respective child, talking to the doctors about their concerns and joining together to rediscover hope for their children's futures.
We raised a great deal of money to support the doctors' ongoing research and we shared information with the supporters of our foundation. It is an understatement to say that there was not a dry eye in the house at the debut of our documentary film.
Many of the families in attendance spoke to the attendees about their fears, their child's progress through the disease and the need to raise funds to help the researchers' race for a cure.
As one family so eloquently stated, Lafora does not only kill the patient, it also kills the whole family.
Each family had one thing in common: the wish to save their child's life. To do so, it is a must that we assist the researchers by both raising funds and awareness about the horrors of this disease.
As the evening progressed, old friends made large contributions as our guests vied for raffle items in an attempt to raise hope by raising funds.
It is our desire, and one of our many goals, to insure that no other child, no other family, has to hear the diagnosis of Lafora.
The journey these families are taking is a journey no family should ever have to experience. To lose your child, day by day, to a disease that ultimately robs your child of everything that makes a person unique and alive, is horrific.
To know that a disease has the potential for a cure and the only thing preventing that cure is research money is just wrong.
Here are some of our realities: Hope is free, love is abundant, and the children stricken with Lafora will lose their battle with this disease if we do not help the researchers by raising funds.
That is our truth.
Please help us. Glance through the photos taken by Cheryl Bigman and look at the faces of hope. Put yourself in the position of these families and ask yourself if there is more that you can do to help us help our children.
Can you ask your employer if they do matching funds? Can you pledge an ongoing amount of money, monthly or yearly?
Can you give up one cup of coffee three times a week and send us those dollars instead?
Can you send information about our site to everyone on your email list so that they learn about us and, possibly, send us a check?
We, our children, and we, the families who speak for our children who can no longer speak for themselves, ask for your help in whatever form you can offer assistance.
And to those of you who joined us at our spectacular and moving fundraiser this year, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You helped us raise the bar of HOPE.
Our fundraiser not only raised funds but it allowed us to join hands and to believe in the power of possibility.
We all thank you for keeping HOPE alive.
Co-Founder of Chelsea's Hope
To view photos from our event, please go to http://www.cherylbigmanphoto.com Click on the "Clients" menu tab and choose the "2nd Annual Chelsea's Hope Fundraiser" gallery. No password needed.