NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL DEDICATES LOBBY IN HONOR OF THE CHARLOTTE AND GWENYTH GRAY FOUNDATION TO CURE BATTEN DISEASE
(May 7, 2019) — Nationwide Children’s Hospital, one of the largest and most comprehensive pediatric academic medical centers in the world, has dedicated its lobby in a ceremony honoring of The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation to Cure Batten Disease.
The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation to Cure Batten Disease was co-founded by Hollywood producer Gordon Gray and his wife Kristen Kaiser Gray after both of their your girls, Charlotte and Gweneth, were diagnosed with the genetic defect that causes the incurable disease. The foundation has given major philanthropic support to accelerate medical research and fund the world-renown Columbus, Ohio hospital’s groundbreaking gene transfer clinical trials for children impacted by Batten Disease (CLN6), a rare and progressively fatal disease that leaves them blind, immobile and cognitively impaired. Since the clinical trials began in 2016, twelve children have enrolled, including the Charlotte and Gweneth Gray. The Foundation’s funding is providing for study participants’ therapies, equipment, and follow-up visits for 24 months.
Mr. Gray is well known as producer of major inspirational hit films such as “Secretariat,” “The Rookie,” “Miracle,” “Invincible,” and he’s currently producing Kate Winslet’s upcoming HBO series “Mare of Easttown,” and the film “Wish List” starring Reese Witherspoon, which is currently in production. Celebrities including Jennifer Garner, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Jon Hamm, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Channing Tatum and Jessica Alba, among others have rallied to raise awareness and help the foundation raise over $7 million (of a $10 million goal) which has been committed to actively fund teams of researchers exploring promising innovations in gene therapy, small molecule therapies, regenerative medicine, RNA modulating compounds, repurposed pharmaceuticals, and natural compounds.
In addition, the Foundation’s Building Block Scholarship Fund provides Batten Disease families with resources to help offset the exorbitant costs associated with medical equipment and therapies. In September 2018, Gordon and Kristen Gray opened The Gray Academy for Exceptional Children with Neurological Needs in Los Angeles. Recently certified by the California Department of Education as a non-profit non-public special needs elementary school, The Gray Academy is the first of-its-kind, uniquely serving as a K-5 educational institution which also provides for highly specialized and diverse therapy needs of students all in one setting. For more information go to curebatten.org and thegraya
At the Nationwide Children’s Hospital dedication ceremony, Steve Testa, president of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation said: “On behalf of the patients, their families and staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we are grateful for the Gray family’s generous gift to help fund Batten Disease research. The Gray family’s commitment is an example of their selfless and tireless efforts to help children and their families everywhere who are living with and fighting this unforgiving disease.”
“My husband Gordon and I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for naming their lobby after The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation. As parents of two young children with Batten Disease (CLN6), every time we enter the hospital doors and through this passageway, we walk in knowing we’re facing this battle alongside a world-leading team of pediatric neurologists and medical researchers working to fast-forward our mission to eradicate this destructive disease,” said Kristen Kaiser Gray. “Today we’re celebrating the three-year anniversary of the start of the clinical trials which first began with our daughter Charlotte, and then Gwenyth was treated shortly thereafter. There is much work to be done with an urgent need for more research funding. But we remain hopeful and steadfast in our quest for the cure.”