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16 Reviews
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July 1, 2014

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July 1, 2014

Hello my name is Christine and I was diagnosed with OTC at the age of 3 1/2 when I ended up in a coma on my mother and now 33 years later I find an organization and people who are just like me and to know that there is someone who understands what we as UCD patients are going through is great. I have been to 2 conferences in the past and learned about a medication that I have been taking almost 4 years now called Ravicti and I am so grateful to all the information I have received. I am a member and will continue to be one and help find a cure for this disease

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change nothing at all

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 5, 2013

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November 5, 2013

I would like to thank NUCDF for their great help in a difficult moment for me and my girlfriend's family when we had to deal with cases of OTC disorders. Cynthia was absolutely fantastic, competent and patient to answer all the questions and provide us many useful suggestions to deal with this problem

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 3, 2012

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October 3, 2012

My daughter was diagnosed with a UCD at 6 months old. In m country, NOBODY knew very well what this was or how to treat it. I contacted NUCDF to learn a bit more about UCD´s, and now, I cannot imagine what it would be of my daughter and me without their support. NUCDF gave us all the info we needed about my daughter´s defficiency and recommended us to doctors who are currently treating her. But the most important thing, NUCDF gave me personally: SUPPORT. Somebody who not only understands, but also informs and cares about you and your family. I would be lost without them and without their lovely Cindy :) //// Ximena Gorostiza, MexIco City, Mexico. (mother of Nicole Vinay, affected with OTC since birth)

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 26, 2012

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September 26, 2012

I first heard about NUCDF 12 years ago when my son was diagnosed with a different rare disorder that also has hyperammonemia. The executive director was very helpful in explaining hyperammonemia to me and sending us in the right direction. A couple years later, I started a non-profit with other families for my son's disorder. NUCDF has mentored our organization and partnered with us on a number of projects. I am thankful for their advice, support, partnership and friendship. I am a more informed parent as well as a better leader because of NUCDF and would recommend them for 2012 Top-Rated Awards.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 25, 2012

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September 25, 2012

My experience with the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation has been an absolute godsend! My son has been recently diagnosed with OTC and I had never heard about OTC. The dietitian at the Children's Hospital suggested this site to me and I thank God that she did! It has absolutely been the worst year of our lives! I have learned more from this site than I have from my son's specialist. I don't know where we would be without the support, teaching and kindness from Cindy and the members on this site. This site also keeps us up to date with any new medication and research on OTC. Cindy is very knowledgeable and helpful. Even though I have never met her in person, I truly appreciate and trust her. We truly feel part of the NUCDF family!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 24, 2012

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September 24, 2012

The NUCDF has been extremely helpful to our family. We are so lucky to have them as a great resource. I don't know what the families would do with out them. They are there for any questions or concerns you may have and they keep us up to date on the lastest advances being made in the urea cycle disorders. Their conference is family oriented and very informative. Having a child with a rare disease I feel blessed knowing we have the NUCDF.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 22, 2012

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September 22, 2012

This foundation has impacted the lives of my daughters and so many children in this world. It has given us so much information and hope throughout the years. The foundation is a gift for GOD for the families who suffer from these horrifice disorders. They helped save our daughters lives.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 18, 2012

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June 18, 2012

We celebrated our daughter Cora’s 9th birthday recently and couldn’t help but reflect upon how fortunate she has been. For her, it was not an easy start in life. She came to us as a foster child, along with her two brothers, unsettled and afraid. They were used to being moved from place to place. We soon learned that 4-year old Cora was used to being sick all of the time too. Her behavior was erratic, and she was vomiting daily. Her tantrums were so frightening that we questioned whether we could commit to becoming her adoptive parents. Social Services informed us that they would take all three kids from us if we couldn’t handle caring for Cora. We asked ourselves, “If not us, then who?”
Cora became progressively sicker. She was uncontrollable and inconsolable. When we looked into her sad eyes, they seemed to be full of questions, and we had no answers. Feeling helpless, we rushed her to the local hospital. Before long, she was transported to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, slipping into a coma and clinging to life. Within less than 24 hours, she was saved by a team led by Dr. Uta-Lichter Konecki and cared for by the most knowledgeable, compassionate medical professionals we had ever met.
Cora had been suffering from hyperammonemia, described to us as a dangerously high level of ammonia in the blood, which is toxic to the body. The condition was caused by a defect in her metabolism known as “OTC” (an acronym for Ornithine transcarbamylse deficiency). OTC is a urea cycle disorder (“UCD”) that, if left untreated, could lead to brain damage or even death. We were told that Cora should be monitored closely on a daily basis, follow a strict low protein diet, and take several medications, as well as supplements.
We were overwhelmed with the awesome responsibility we had to accept in order to keep Cora alive and healthy. Throughout the weeks, then months and years that followed, however, we came to realize that caring for Cora, and others afflicted with UCDs, is a team effort that goes well beyond the walls of our home and the hospitals. Through Children’s National Medical Center, we were introduced to the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation (“NUCDF”) and UCD families. Cindy Le Mons is the Executive Director of NUCDF and truly a team leader.
UCD families are faced with many obstacles, and the learning curve is steep. We found ourselves in the precarious position of having to educate others, when we understood so little. Since Cora was still in foster care, we had practically no control over the management of her care. We had to persuade Social Services that she is medically fragile. Despite providing them with proof of Cora’s illness and immediate needs, my employer would not extend my leave, and I was forced to quit my job. Without my income, we had to research funding and programs for which Cora could qualify. When she began having behavioral and learning problems, we had to address those, as well as the diet restrictions and difficulties with administering medications that were unfamiliar to our family and friends, Cora’s pediatricians, and the school.
There were other challenges, and as we prepared to face each one, Cindy Le Mons and NUCDF provided us with a wealth of information and guidance. When we were uncertain, confused or frightened, they were just a phone call or e-mail away. We’ll be forever grateful for each and every answer, shared resource, returned phone call and e-mail, as well as the networking opportunities NUCDF has made possible for us to connect with others in the UCD community.
At our first NUCDF conference, our family unexpectedly shared a table at breakfast with two doctors who were visiting from different countries. They were there to teach and to learn. This time, we were answering the experts' questions since obviously Cora was healthy and happy. At one of the roundtable sessions, we witnessed some of Cora’s doctors and their colleagues sharing their knowledge with others who travelled from around the globe. And we found ourselves sharing our experiences freely and openly throughout the weekend, just as the other attendees did. It was a very emotional experience. At one point, a doctor pulled us aside and thanked us for being there and giving others hope. We had never looked it that way because we were too busy being thankful of others. But, the comment left us with a wonderful feeling that we were making a contribution. It was then that we realized that our family is an integral part of NUCDF’s team effort to save lives, which clearly stretches far and wide.
When we look into Cora’s eyes today, we see beauty and lots of promise, thanks in large part to NUCDF. Just this month, she was promoted to the 4th grade; happily celebrated “bridging over” from Brownie to Junior with her Girl Scout friends; and took 1st place in the first swim meet of the season – in all four races she competed in! Her brothers were teasing her afterwards: “You can’t say you never win anymore, Cora!” Indeed, she can’t.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 23, 2011

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June 23, 2011

Our son, Anders, was born a healthy baby boy on 11/2/2010. 36 hours in to his new life, he took a turn for the worst. We were rushed to two different hospitals trying to determine what was wrong with our newborn baby. We finally the confirmation that he did have a urea cycle disorder, which meant absolutely nothing to us, but at least we knew the cause of his ammonia levels of 855 & his comatose state. Through all of this confusion, I'm not sure who, but someone gave us Cindy Le Mons's (president of the National Urea Cycle Disorder Foundation, number. What a relief and savior that had been, finally getting in touch with someone who could give us answers. Unfortunately, Anders only lived 18 short days, but during those chaotic, stressful days, we had someone on our side who had walked in our same shoes. Cindy has been a blessing in so many ways, we cannot even begin to express how much. Anders ended up having OTC and we knew without a doubt we would not go through this sad, painful process again with having another baby, whatever we had to do to not face this for us or another child, we were willing to do. In vitro fertilization was the answer and all we needed was Anders' molecular diagnosis. Luck was not on our side, as no mutation in his DNA was ever found. At this point, I had no idea if I was even a carrier or if his had been a spontaneous mutation with our baby. Even my genectist thought we were at a loss, but not Cindy, she urged us to do a urine test to determine my probable carrier status and low and behold, it was positive! One of the best resources is a support group through NUCDF that encompasses many of us mothers who lost our newborn children to these dreadful diseases. Through that group, I have met people who have shared so much insight & wisdom, including much information on IVF PGD. Due to meeting some of these women, Cindy and their resources, I have realized that there is hope at the end of the tunnel for us and we still are able to have a child of our own with IVF PGD and without OTC! Although it is almost certain that we will have a healthy, OTC free baby, we will still be in close contact with this foundation with testing once we hopefully have another baby to double check the OTC was blocked through the PGD. I am a carrier but also have partial OTC myself, and Cindy has been a tremendous help with advice and knowledge on keeping myself as healthy as possible, especially during pregnancy.
Like I said, there are not enough words in the English language to say enough wonderful things about NUCDF and Cindy! She is one of a kind and as unlucky we may have been in the last several months, we are that lucky to have met Cindy!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Ongoing support and resources

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Move them closer to us, in Florida!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 5, 2011

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June 5, 2011

This foundation has truly been a beacon of light and hope for our family. Our grandson, Anders Ericson Leon, was born in November 2010 to our daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Eric. To our overwhelming sadness....Anders lived only 18 days. The diagnosis was OTC which none of us had ever heard of before. As you can imagine, we were all on our computers trying to find out as much information as we could possibly find out about this terrible disease and what we could do to save our grandson's life. In our research we got the name of Cynthia Le Mons and the NUCDF. Needless to say, we called her from the hospital and Cynthia spent hours talking to us and giving us information to help us try to understand this disease. Unfortunately we were not able to save the life of our darling angel, Anders, but at least we had found an organization that would continue to support us. My daughter and I have stayed in contact with Cynthia Le Mons and the NUCDF as we have had so many questions about OTC and what the implications were for our future. We know that when we call her....she will respond in a timely manner and when we email her....we know that she'll get back to us quickly. This has given me great comfort during the difficult days that have passed since we lost Anders. Thank you, Cynthia and NUCDF...please know how much you have meant to me!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping our family understand OTC and its relevance to our future.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make no changes.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Internet

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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