Marian & Family
Marian was born on August 26, 2015. Behind with physical milestones at nine months, we consulted a neurologist as a precaution (three different ones, in fact). You can read our full diagnostic journey here. Her symptoms were mild, but puzzling. Marian was just a year old when her neurologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles felt an enlarged spleen. This changed our course from precautionary monitoring to bracing for devastation. After months of testing, our worst fears became reality: She has NPC. Progressive loss and suffering. No cure. Fatal.
Why We're Here
Time stood still when we learned our younger daughter Marian is in the early stages of a fatal storage disorder. She is fighting for her life against Niemann-Pick Type C, also known as "Childhood Alzheimer's." Ten years ago this would have been a death sentence. Today there is hope. We created Hope For Marian to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for NPC.
At just seven months, Marian needed her arms to support her, her belly was oversized from an undetected enlarged spleen.
Hope For Marian and NPC
Shortly afterwards, we found hope and the path to survival. Investigational treatments are stalling the progression of NPC. Marian receives this critical lifeline every two weeks under anesthesia through a spinal tap. She will need to do so for the rest of her life.
Initially, Marian flew to Chicago for treatments, but now is able to receive them at Children's Hospital Los Angeles via a special protocol.
These past months have been a miracle to see Marian come to life again. At 20 months Marian could not take a single step. At 23 months and after eight treatments, she can very proudly walk across the room.
Her life still very much hangs in the balance. The treatment is a critical lifeline, but not a cure. Marian will die without a cure. Gene therapy, mRNA, cyclodextrin combination therapies, and more are being researched now. They hold the key to survival but are in drastic need of funding to arrive in time. Marian will die if they are not accelerated. This is what we are fighting for. This is our story told as our family of four fights together to help keep Marian and NPC children on the right side of hope, and life.
We are parents to two strong and beautiful girls: Emily, age four, and Marian, who is just over two. Paul and I met at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, where we graduated in 2009. Paul is an education attorney and I am a non-profit attorney for children in the foster care system. We live in Southern California with our girls and our cat, George.