A Wedding Tribute – Kristen Rice

Katie and Jesse Tribute

Jesse and I had an absolutely perfect wedding! We couldn’t have asked for a more special day, and one of the most special parts was the incredible generosity of all who donated to Chelsea’s Hope in honor of Kristen and our marriage.

Please know how much your donations meant to both of us.

Katie and Jesse Dixon

Kristen became ill from her Lafora disease very suddenly when I was a sophomore in high school. Almost overnight she went from a bright, independent teenager to one dependent on her caregivers for nearly every task. Kristen was supposed to be my best friend in adulthood and the maid of honor in my wedding, until Lafora robbed her (and me) of that future. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of my beautiful sister, and mourn the life she should have had. That is why Jesse and I have chosen to honor Kristen on our special day by requesting donations to Chelsea’s Hope in lieu of traditional registry gifts, so that other children like Kristen can walk down the aisle like they were meant to.
-Katie Rice


Not too long after Katie and I began dating, she told me about her sister Kristen. She mentioned that Kristen suffered from a rare disease, called Lafora disease. Though the disease is extremely rare, the name sounded familiar, and I thought I had heard it before. In the following weeks, we understood why. My father’s laboratory was one of a relatively small number of research laboratories in the world that was studying Lafora, and they had made several insights into the molecular mechanisms of the disease. Having chosen myself to pursue a career in biomedical research, I understand the critical importance of funding organizations like Chelsea’s Hope which provide an essential link between patient advocates and scientists studying disease. Katie and I hope to use this opportunity to raise much needed funding for Lafora’s disease research and to honor Kristen at this special time.
-Jesse Dixon

Read more about Kristen
Kristen Rice

To make a donation in honor of Kristen and the marriage of Katie and Jesse, please comment in “NOTES” on the donate page.

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