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Barth Syndrome Foundation Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Birth Defects & Genetic Diseases Research, Health, Heart & Circulatory System Diseases & Disorders Research, Pediatrics, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations

Mission: The Barth Syndrome Foundation (BSF) is dedicated to saving lives through education, advances in treatment, and finding a cure for Barth syndrome (BTHS).

Results: Our efforts have provided educational resources to transform families from powerless by-standers to empowered advocates.

Geographic areas served: International

Programs: BSF sponsors a competitive research grant program to facilitate advances in Barth syndrome (BTHS) understanding and to encourage the discovery of new treatments.  We are interested in providing “seed grant funding” to young investigators as well as attracting experienced investigators new to the field of BTHS basic science or clinical research. We anticipate that these funds will be used for the testing of initial hypotheses and the collection of preliminary data leading to successful long-term funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other major granting institutions around the world.

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7 Florence6

Client Served

Rating: 5

BSF is both as a family, loving, helpful and supporting, and as a huge source of information. Even if our son is affected by a rare disease, we never feel alone, and BSF give us the strenght to live with Barth Syndrome, and give us hope that the future of our kids will be brighter

Shelia M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been living with Barth syndrome now for 20 years. We were told early in his life that he might not live past 4 years of age.
But because of The Barth Syndrome Foundation's work, efforts and research, our foundation is now offering clinical trails for new medications and we are really close to seeing gene therapy offered to potentially cure our boys and men. We never thought we would see this in our son's lifetime.
The Barth Syndrome Foundation (BSF) has given our family hope for a cure and has given us guidance on how to help our son live a wonderful life. We also have an entire new family of amazing people in our life that we have met through the Barth Syndrome Foundation. Getting to see most of these folks every 2 years at BSF conference helps us feel no longer alone in this fight against Barth Syndrome.
We will win this fight because of these Amazing Barth boys and Barth men who have participated in the research to gain knowledge about this disease. I know The Barth Syndrome Foundation will not give up until we win this fight.

Thank you BSF‼
Shelia Mann, parent & volunteer

Client Served

Rating: 5

This foundation helps so many people and brings them together.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing support, help and hope for those affected!

Previous Stories
9

Client Served

Rating: 5

With BSF I found a very supportive Community. I feel not alone anymore. They are of great importance for the charing of experience about the Syndrome.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a parent of one of the men with Barth syndrome and I know first hand what life was like before the Barth Syndrome Foundation was in existence--we did not know another soul going through what we were, we had no information, and we were completely isolated and alone. Very different from what life is like now! BSF is our connection and our lifeline to the dynamic Barth syndrome community in all it's forms; Barth families from all over the world, physicians, researchers, the incredibly dedicated BSF staff, volunteers and our amazing donors who stand with us. I'm so thankful that the foundation has been dedicated from its beginning to finding treatments and eventually a cure for this awful and very rare disorder. BSF has a first class Science and Medical Advisory Board and a research grant program that funds cutting edge research. My son has had the opportunity to participate in research studies over the years and now is participating in a Barth syndrome clinical trial. This is real progress that offers all of the people living with Barth opportunity and hope. For any of us with Barth syndrome in our lives, if we have a question, a concern or just need to vent, we have that chance thanks to BSF. It is truly a trusted place for a growing amount of information related to Barth syndrome. The lives of people affected by Barth syndrome would look VERY different without BSF, I cannot state strongly enough how grateful my family is for the Barth Syndrome Foundation.

1 Jules L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Barth Syndrom Foundation really matters in our lives. Clear and useful information, advice, shared expériences, a conference involving top researchers and families..... All this means an enormous support and gives us hope for a treatment. Jules et Madeleine Lallemand

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has a rare disease called Barth Syndrome. The Barth Syndrome Foundation reached out to us after his diagnosis to offer help, guidance and support. Since the time that we have been with the foundation, it has allowed us to meet and talk with other families that are dealing with the same issues. It has also given us hope, support and guidance with our son. It has been great for our son to meet other boys that are affected with the same disease.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has far exceeded any expectations in helping us cope with this horrible disease!

1 Nicole70

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first son died when he was two weeks old. I had no idea he was sick. My world was turned upside down. At that time, I didn’t know about Barth syndrome.

Our journey began in 2002. When Nathaniel Joseph was born on September 9th, he seemed to be the picture of health. That is, until he died unexpectedly two weeks later. The cause of death was eventually determined to be dilated cardiomyopathy. We were told it was a fluke, a one in a billion thing. Nothing could have been done, and it would never happen again.

When I discovered I was pregnant again, just over a year later, I panicked. Numerous tests were performed throughout the pregnancy, and I was assured my baby had a healthy heart. However, when Devin James was born on July 22, 2004, he couldn’t breathe. He was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, where an X-ray revealed a severely enlarged heart. He was intubated and airlifted to University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital within six hours of his birth. I was terrified. I just couldn’t bear the thought of losing another child.

Devin spent the nine agonizingly long weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit, where he suffered complete heart failure and a full cardiac arrest. Eventually, my sweet baby underwent successful heart transplant surgery.

Barth syndrome had been suspected early on, but genetic testing performed prior to transplant revealed a mutation that had never been seen. Although Devin’s symptoms and family history indicated Barth syndrome, it was not considered enough for a diagnosis.

In 2006, I saw an episode of Discovery Health Channel’s “Mystery Diagnosis” that featured Barth syndrome. I immediately got in contact with Shelley Bowen, a driving force behind the Barth Syndrome Foundation. She urged me to look further into genetic testing.

After six months of additional testing, Devin was finally diagnosed with Barth syndrome at the age of 27 months, more than two years after receiving the “gift of life,” and four years after the death of his brother, Nathaniel.

This diagnosis is so important in many aspects of Devin's care, including nutrition, metabolism, growth, cardiac care, physical therapies, education, and more. Infection is constant worry. We once spent four days in hospital for a scraped elbow! Devin takes countless medicines and supplements. We know the emergency room all too well. Life can be hard as 13-year-old boy that is the size of most seven-year-olds. Add the suffering from muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, and lots of missed school – it just breaks my heart some times. As his mother, I worry constantly.

One light in this darkness is the Barth Syndrome Foundation (BSF). Thanks to BSF, we are not on this journey alone. Expertise is always an email or phone call away. Attending BSF’s conference enables us to learn so much about this incredibly rare condition, while spending time with families from around the world that are just like Devin. He is also seen at the Barth Syndrome Clinic at Kennedy Kreiger Institute, the only clinic in the US that specializes in Barth syndrome.

Thanks to BSF and the “gift of life,” I am the proud mother of a relatively healthy and happy 13-year-old boy. I am so grateful for the Barth Syndrome Foundation for helping Devin and all of his “Barth brothers” around the world.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is not a doubt in my mind that my son is doing so well today because of the work of the Barth Syndrome Foundation (BSF). Having 2 children born with Barth syndrome, I know all too well the effects of this devastating disorder. After losing my first son at 2 weeks of age to an undetected heart condition, I was told it was likely a fluke and to try for another baby. Imagine the surprise and absolute horror I felt when my second son was born with the same heart problem. Thankfully it was detected, and my second son underwent successful heart transplantation at 9 weeks of age. The awareness raised by BSF led his doctors to believe BTHS may be the cause of his heart failure, so they sought the input of a BSF affiliated cardiologist before listing him for a transplant. It was on the advice of that cardiologist that Devin was listed for, and eventually received, the donor heart. Although his cardiac health improved post transplant, BTHS is a multi-faceted disorder, and the work of BSF has allowed us to manage all of the other facets. Finally, the support and camaraderie offered by a group of people affected by such a rare and devastating disorder is made possible by BSF.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Honest, sincere, compassionate, and hopeful group of people. Would not wish the experience of having a loved one with Barth Syndrome, but so very thankful that we have this group in our lives!

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wouldn't wish a child with health problems on anyone, but I am so thankful that we have the support of the Barth Syndrome Foundation. What an honest, inspiring, compassionate, selfless, professional, and personal organization. I have been nothing but pleased and impressed with every interaction I have had with the Foundation in the past 2 years since our diagnosis. The individual families affected by Barth Syndrome truly make up one united family, lifting each other up when needed, providing advice and experience tastefully and tactfully, rejoicing and grieving together. And the Family and Medical Conference is superb! Amazingly pulled off by a small, but wonderful team running BSF and done so well. Cannot say enough good things about BSF! As parents of a son with Barth Syndrome, we so value and appreciate the Foundation for so many reasons.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As mother to a son with Barth Syndrome this foundation is a total life line, and I mean that literally! This condition is rare and complex, so to know that there is a forum to share wisdom and expertise not only from other parents but also with medical and scientific specialists and experts in their fields and from around the world is nothing short of remarkable, you can't imagine how supportive that is and how there can never be enough thanks given! This is a picture of Jack holding his 100 books certificate at our local library.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I found out my son had Bath Syndrome it was overwhelming in every way. BSF have been a TOTALLY INVALUABLE resource in so many ways. Clear information for me as a parent, for medical professionals, help with planning school placements and a mine if useful information I didn't even know I would need ! Alongside this the opportunity to hear from other parents, give and receive support and understanding from someone who knows what it like. Via the list serve and also at our local clinic and family fun days. Thank you BSF YOU ARE AWESOME

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Couldn't wish for a better foundation and community! This is such a wonderful group of dedicated families and professionals seeking to support and ultimately cure our barth guys. We have been in touch with this organization for the last 5 years and our life has since been enriched with understanding, support and hope!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Connecting with the Barth Syndrome Foundation changed our lives.

We are parents of two boys. Max (now 7) and Brady (now 6). Before joining the BSF community, we had noticed that Max had low muscle tone and after a few years of research finally got a Barth diagnosis for him. Brady on the other hand, showed none of the symptoms.

Once the diagnosis achieved, we still had little input as to what to do to help Max. We saw many doctors, all very nice and keen to help. But at the end of the day, a lot of the work went towards monitoring, and little of it towards helping/improving.

After connecting with BFS, we felt like we had finally met 'our people'! Parents sharing stories and observations. Doctors providing recommendations that we could pass along to Max's doctors. Friends caring for each others.

We now finally feel that we can help our Max. He is a wonderful 7 year old, full of curiosity and wit. It's a great feeling and we are convinced that through the persistence of BSF and the network with our doctors, a cure will be found.

1 amywilson82

Client Served

Rating: 5

This foundation goes over and beyond for the many families affected by this tragic and horrific syndrome. From advice to messages of faith to keep our spirits up in the darkest hours, to the great medical and family conference. We are a small but mighty group. I wouldn't trade this foundation for ANY OTHER!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The people with the foundation go far beyond what is asked. Not only do they do their jobs, they become family. They love & care about each one of the families affected by this disease.
Cannot thank them enough!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am 100% certain my son would not be where he is today without the Barth Syndrome Foundation. They have a listserve for parents of affected boys to communicate globally about nuances of the disease. They have two DNA registries which are helping researchers work towards a cure. They have a bi-annual conference that is both for families and scientists to meet and share information/data about the disease. They support and recognize all the members who do fundraisers to help find a cure for our boys. It is truly a world class foundation and I am so proud to be a part of it.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has Barth Syndrome and the Barth Syndrome has not only saved his life through proper diagnosis of his disease but they continue to fight for a cure with cutting edge research. Heart on a chip using Barth Syndrome boys own IPS cells and replacement enzyme therapies are being studied to hopefully find a cure someday. The boys, families, doctors and scientists are all truly amazing! Parents of these boys raise alot of the money for the foundation by breaking boards in karate, fencing, grass volleyball, bowling, poker, bingo, jewelry sales, Iron-man races among many others.

Read more

Client Served

Rating: 5

From the moment our son was diagnosed with Barth Syndrome, BSF has been there for us. With every step of the way on this journey,we know we can lean on BSF for expertise, support and understanding. Someone once said to me that living with a child with Barth Syndrome is like living in a constant state of terror, waiting for something to happen every day. Barth Syndrome foundation makes this live easier to face every day. BSF gives us hope and tools to deal with it. You will never find a group of more dedicated parents and professionals.

Donna67

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Barth Syndrome Foundation has made such a difference to our lives. I feel we owe the health of our son to their hard work and determination. They offer so much help and support and for a rare disease with only approximately 200 boys affected world wide they have incredibly got to the stage of starting clinical trials in the very near future. They are amazing.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Barth Syndrome a Foundation provides wonderful
Support and immeasurable hope. It gives families from all over
the world a place to connect with each other and share the happiness and sadness
that comes with this often fatal and very rare disorder. The conference
put together biannually by BSF is one if the most incredible
experiences a boy with Barth and his family can have. For a non-profit that supports
a syndrome that is so very rare it is very mighty and in a short space of time
it has funded research so we now have hope that our boys will grow to be
Men.

Read more

Client Served

Rating: 5

When our grandson passed away at age 6 months from what was later diagnosed as Barth Syndrome we were desperate for information about this extremely rare disease. Finding the Barth Syndrome Foundation (BSF) has been a Godsend. Not only were we personally contacted, but also invited to gatherings where we could speak with other families of boys suffering with Barth's. We now have a second grandson living with Barth Syndrome but because of the tireless efforts of the BSF to disseminate the latest information on treatments and to connect him with doctors and specialists worldwide, there is hope that he may grow up and live a productive life.
In spite of the fact that Barth Syndrome is so very rare the BSF has created opportunities to get to know and share experiences with other Barth boys, men and their families, and with researchers and specialists searching for a cure. The Biannual conference arranged by the BSF ensures that this happens and that as many families as possible may attend.
Barth Syndrome Foundation. Truly amazing. Truly family.

1 wandalee

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Barth Syndrome Foundation has been a great support for our family since my grandson Jacob was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 4 months. He had a heart transplant at the age of two and was on life support for 11 weeks. We had support from the Barth community. He had a second Transplant at the age of 16 and again we had the support of the community of
families going through some of the same things we did. It is a very worthy nonprofit.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 4

BSF is a great organization and these wonderful boys and their families deseve to have the support it offers. I am grateful for this organization and the support our family has received. My granson was diagnosed at four months and had a heart transplant at age two. We have received so much encouragement and support we could not get any place else. We have some tough days ahead and I know the encouragement we will receive will be appreciated and will help us get through.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

BSF is truly an amazing organization. They are a lifeline to families and individuals affected by Bart Syndrome. The wealth of knowledge and information, compassion and understanding, friendship and hope, that comes from being a part of an active, professional and caring foundation is beyond words. Barth Syndrome Foundation is simply phenomenal.

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

When our son was diagnosed with Barth Syndrome, we were terrified. BSF not only helped us through some of the toughest times in our lives, it also showed us hope and support beyond anything imaginable. If you are one of the few affected families around the world with this rare disease, you feel alone and misunderstood by everyone. In most cases, not even the Drs that are working on saving your child's life know anything about Barth Syndrome. The info and expert advice, coupled with medical and scientific advisory board and all the researchers working on the cure are INVALUABLE!!! You will never meet another group of people as dedicated and unwavering as BSF!

1 Strawser111

Client Served

Rating: 5

This an absolute wonderful organization. There is so much love, understanding, and information. Every single person will do everything they can to help each other. It is a tight community with friendships that will last a life time.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has changed our lives. When my 15 year old son was diagnosed with Barth syndrome, we were overwhelmed and lost. Through finding the Barth Syndrome Foundation, we were able to find specialists and information as to how to treat this extremely rare illness. Within just one week my son was starting to feel better. It has helped our whole family understand the illness and to know that we are not alone. The physical and mental support is just priceless.