BDSRA is grateful for a wonderful group of employees from Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio who have said “Yes!” many times this year to helping families. They first learned about the BDSRA’s work through a colleague, Ivana Polonijo, who works for a partner organization of Nationwide. Her life partner, Scott Friedman, is friends with the James family in California whose daughter Maya was making every-two-week trips to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for treatment. Upon learning about the experience of the James’ family, and many others in the national community, these Nationwide employees asked, “What can we do to help?” Since that day, volunteers like Eric McCaslin, Rachel Schmeltzer, Erica Lemmon, Melissa Reeser and Roman Prociuk have given their time and recruited others to support Batten families in various ways. More than 10 of our volunteers at the Battling Batten 5K in Columbus last November, were from Nationwide. At a moment’s notice they bring auction gift baskets, deliver meals, and provide needed resources to our community.
We are energized by this and yet are acutely aware of how much more there is to do for all forms of the disease. It truly takes a long-term commitment to support, advocate, and build a better future for children and families impacted by Batten disease.