September, 2012
Wedding 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 [read more]

June 30, 2012
Golf for Epilepsy

Fundraising success on June 30th 2012 with $4,610.00 being raised for Chelsea’s Hope!

We would like to acknowledge Ryan Cosentino for making a difference in his community and ours by raising awareness about Lafora Disease. Ryan proved that through his love for cousin, Mallorie, his passion for golf, a great idea, and lots of supportive friends and family, great success can be achieved.

A big thank you goes out to Ryan for taking a stand against Lafora Disease by stepping forward in a big way. Thanks also to all the golfers and supporters that led to the success of this event. We’d like to wish Ryan great success in his future golf endeavors! [read more]

Geoffrey and ChelseaJune 23, 2012
Contractor’s Charity Golf Tournament

Are you familiar with the old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”? Chelsea’s Hope and its families whose children are stricken with Lafora disease is our small village. We have continuously encouraged our friends and families to participate with us to spread awareness and raise money for Lafora research. [Read more]

May 2011
Chelsea's Hope Pit Crew 2011“Evening of Miracles”

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. [read more]

September 2010
2nd Annual Chelsea’s Hope Fundraiser

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. [Read more]

Thus far, Chelsea’s Hope and YOUR generosity has generated over a quarter of a million dollars for Lafora Research!


Chelsea, by Cheryl Bigman

With these funds, UCLA hired a dedicated Lafora researcher in addition to forwarding the mice colony studies, which have aided the researchers in obtaining recent FDA approval for the IV Gentamycin therapy.

In addition we have contributed money to the Lafora research being done at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

June, 2010
$225,000 raised towards our goal for a cure

September, 2009
$152,000 raised

We are thrilled to inform that in the past 18 months since the inception of Chelsea’s Hope nearly $152,000 has been raised for UCLA research. Families and friends from coast to coast that are connected to Chelsea’s Hope are linking hearts and hands to help raise funds for Lafora research. We are so grateful to everyone who donates their time, energy and money in these fundraising efforts.

Here is an excerpt from a letter received from UCLA on September 3, 2009:

“As you may or may not know, unrestricted funds, such as those that you have provided, are vital to the success of research in the modern era. Traditional state and federal funding requires grant proposals that are based on massive amounts of preliminary information and are, as such, incremental research. With unrestricted funds, one can take a sound hypothesis and a modest amount of pilot data and make a scientific leap, based on insights, minimal pilot data and strong hypotheses. Such leaps advance the field in a non-incremental way and provide breakthroughs that typically are not realized by the more traditional mechanisms. That is, innovative funding for innovative research. It is just this sort of opportunity to which your generous gift is applied.

On behalf of the Department of Neurology, thank you again for your generosity and support of research that will lead to improved therapies and, ultimately, a cure for Lafora.”

John C. Mazziotta, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director, Brain Mapping Center
Associate Director, Semel Institute for Neuroscience

May 17, 2009
1st Annual Fundraiser

$30,000 generated!

May 17, 2009 and perhaps the warmest day of the year in the San Francisco bay area, thus far, marked the First Annual Fundraising Event for Chelsea’s Hope: Lafora Children Research Fund.

The Venue, Forli Restaurant in Alamo, California, was standing room only as 125 friends, past and present joined the Gerber Family for a few hours of reconnection, information, auction items, delicious appetizers and wine. Also present were Kim Rice of Seattle and Edmond Richer of Dallas both parents to lafora children connected with Chelsea’s Hope. It was both emotional and amazing that they were able to participate in our first event. Also present and representing UCLA were Dr. Antonio Delgado-Escueta, Dr. Eain Cornford, and Dr. Machado Salas. A surprise visit by Danville’s own “Hero to the Hudson” was Captain “Sully” Sullenberger and his lovely wife Laurie.

“The Faces of Lafora” were presented beautifully on 20 x 30 photographic images so tenderly and expertly taken by our own professional photographer, Cheryl Bigman. These haunting images lined the walls of the restaurant, along with family photo collages and excerpts from letters written by parents of these children expressing the devastating heartache and sorrow in watching ones child slowly deteriorate and loose themselves to an incurable disease.

A video presentation of lafora, its effects on the brain, and current research being done was represented by Dr. Antonio Delgado-Escueta, Dr. Eain Cornford, and Dr. Machado Salas all of UCLA and renowned experts in the understanding and study of lafora. While the content of their presentation was above the heads of most lay people attending, what was most evident was the impact of this information.

To conclude the presentation was an emotional photographic slide show set to beautiful music of our children in the United States that are connected with Chelsea’s Hope. Tears flowed down the cheeks of attendees as they silently watched the images of these innocent children. I know the impact lafora has on the families affected but now from this first public event, I more clearly can see the impact lafora has on all our relationships.

Our first event was an overall success, from the emotional content and obvious heartfelt reaction to our cause, to the relationships reconnected, to the many friends who spent hours planning this event, to those who donated services as well as everyone who contributed their hard earned dollars to support research for a cure, we most sincerely thank you.

It takes a team of many making small contributions to the greater good to make a difference and with the help of everyone who contributed, nearly $30,000 was generated.


March, 2009
Fundraising Report

As of this month, we have raised approximately $116,000 for Lafora Research and it has only been about one year since we kicked off our site. Thank you to everyone who has helped us. While this is a great start- and we sincerely appreciate all contributions-this is only a START!
As Dr. Escueta has explained, the annual salary for a molecular biologist is approximately $80,000. We have already used some of our funds to pay for an EEG machine. It is clear that our fundraising efforts need to be stepped up in order to meet our expenses. As you know, Lafora Research is not being funded by the government; it is up to all of us to provide the funds to aid the researchers.
We are aware of how stretched everyone is due to the shaky economy. Everyone is feeling uncertain these days and there are many charities that need support. We don’t want to ask you to give more than you can afford; we do ask that you help us by giving what you can and sharing information about our site with as many friends, co-workers and acquaintances as possible. Any and all donations are appreciated and, as we have asserted before, each dollar represents both hope and possibility.