The Short of It
Imagine if not one, but both of your young children were battling a cruel and fatal disease? This is a painful reality for the Los Angeles parents of little girls who suffer from Batten disease. Now, Gordon and Kristen Gray have launched a desperate money raising campaign in an attempt to save their precious children.
Never heard of Batten disease? You aren't alone. This incurable and fatal neurodegenerative disease is extremely rare, and the strain 4-year-old Charlotte and 2-year-old Gwenyth suffer from—Late Infantile NCL Batten Disease CLN6—is especially rare.
This unthinkably cruel disease robs children of their sight, speech and ability to feed themselves, and it will typically take their lives between the ages of 6 and 12.
Even the Grays never heard of Batten until Charlotte, who had developed normally until the age of 2 1/2, began to lag behind her peers in meeting milestones and have trouble with certain words. Tests soon revealed she suffered from Batten disease, and doctors informed her parents that sister Gwenyth had a 25 percent chance of also having it. Tragically, she does.
Gordon Gray is a film producer who is known for the movies "The Rookie," "Invincible," and "Miracle," and he and Kristen put together a tremendously touching video about their girls and the awful future they face without a cure.
"You're looking at your very healthy vibrant children who are loving life right now, who could potentially lose all of that joy in a very short time," their heartbroken mom says in the short video. "We have a very short window to try and save them."
The parents are asking for help in raising $10 million to fund medical research that may save their girls. You can donate directly on the Cure Batten website, or you can purchase experiences with your donations, such as meeting celebrities, at IfOnly.com.
Right now, the family's only hope is a doctor in New Zealand who effectively cured sheep of the disease. But their connections with Hollywood celebrities are helping their message to spread quickly. The must-see video has already been shared by Jennifer Garner, Channing Tatum, Jessica Biel, Alyssa Milano, Jessica Alba, and many more with the hashtag #CureBatten.
Watching the video myself, I couldn't help but think of my own girls, ages 4 and 2. The most heartbreaking moment in the video is when Gray says she can't imagine her lifelong dream of being a mom being taken away from her. So awful. Please spread the word about this family's struggle, so they can raise the money they need to help their sweet little girls.
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