Changing Lives: Bridger & Essex Grebe Fund Donates $200,000 to INAD Gene Therapy Program

We are proud to announce that the Bridger & Essex Grebe Fund is making a contribution of $200,000 to the INADcure Foundation to be used towards its Gene Therapy Program.

This contribution is only possible because of the generous support offered by the many special people who have supported the Fund over the years, especially through the Bridger & Essex Grebe Softball Challenge.  This year’s event – the 12th annual – raised more than $60,000.

It has been our privilege to support INADcure in the past, and this latest donation will aid the INADcure Foundation in its mission to raise $7 million in the next 24 months to fund its gene therapy program and move closer to a cure. As described on the INADcure website: 

The goal of the INAD gene therapy research project is to develop treatments for impaired PLA2G6 function, the underlying cause of Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD). Gene therapy is a revolutionary approach to treating genetic diseases. It involves a one-time delivery of a normal copy of the defective gene which ideally causes the body to naturally produce the missing enzyme, which is what is causing the neurodegeneration in INAD. It is the most promising ‘cure’ for our children. The primary objective of the current project is to determine the safety and efficacy of gene therapy approaches in the INAD mouse model, focusing on understanding key requirements for delivering the PLA2G6 gene to the central and peripheral nervous system.”

The Bridger & Essex Grebe Fund has two goals – helping needy families support children afflicted with INAD and similar diseases and helping find a cure for INAD.  Thanks to the dedication of the team at INADcure, remarkable progress has been made towards that dream of a cure.  We ask that you consider joining us in donating directly towards the gene therapy program to enable continued progress in the research and development of therapies that will help to treat and prevent INAD.

Click here to make your donation. Thank you!

Thank You From the Grebe Family and the Bridger & Essex Grebe Fund!

On behalf of the Grebe family – along with the other families who you help – thank you for your support of the Bridger and Essex Grebe Fund and the 12th annual Softball Challenge. 

The money raised during the event supports the two goals of the B&E Fund: providing support directly to needy families with children who have conditions similar to Bridger and Essex, and supporting research directed at finding a cure for INAD.  Therapy, equipment, and other services make a tremendous difference to children – but they are expensive and typically not covered by insurance.  And as we shared at the event, research toward a cure has progressed significantly over the last year, and as soon as enough funds are raised the researchers working on the project will begin moving towards clinical trials, which is a significant step forward.  That is a remarkable development and the research seems to be progressing rapidly.

While the final dollars are still being tallied, it looks like we might come close to matching or exceeding last year’s fundraising total of $50,000, which will enable the B&E Fund to make another significant contribution to INADCure for gene therapy fundraising campaign toward clinical trials.  We are very grateful for the generosity of family, friends, colleagues, and even people we have never met.  Thank you.

Although we escaped rainfall, the Old Men (and a Woman) could not escape yet another loss to the Young Guns.  (The Old Men were also unable to escape without at least one injury.)  As the Young Guns extended their unbeaten streak to another year Michael is looking forward to recruiting the entire starting lineup for the Lakeshore Chinooks to make up the Old Men’s team next year.

The Softball Challenge was developed and inspired by Connie and Reik Read as a way to help other families while we remember Bridger and Essex and celebrate their lives.  Our family is lucky to have the Read family as such dear friends – thank you Connie and Reik.

Pictures of the event will be uploaded on the website in the next few weeks.   If you weren’t able to attend the event but still want to make a donation you are – of course – able to do so online.

Once again, thank you to everyone for helping make this event successful, for supporting the B&E Fund and the families it helps, and for helping us remember the joy and meaning that Bridger and Essex brought to our lives.  We are truly grateful.  Look forward to seeing you at the 13th annual softball challenge next year.

The Grebe Family

Register Now for the 2022 Game!

Registration for the 12th-annual Bridger & Essex Grebe Softball Challenge is now open! The event will be held at the Thiensville Village Park on Saturday, August 13, beginning at 5 p.m.

-Adult tickets (21 and older) will be $50.
-Youth tickets (15-20) will be $30.
-Children 14 and under free with an adult donation.

Tickets include entry, a T-shirt, a variety of free food and beverages, and access to our auction and raffle.

Funds raised will support INAD research, assistance, equipment, and therapy for children and families who have similar needs to those of Bridger and Essex.

Register here to attend, and click here to bid on a spot to play in the softball game.

If you cannot attend but still want a classic T-shirt, click here and it will be mailed to you.