Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Welcome Aboard! Announcing our three newest team members!

We are excited to announce the addition of three amazing Rett moms to our Mothers' Advisory Board! What is the MAB? It is a group of dedicated mothers who have daughters with Rett Syndrome who volunteer to help GP2C in many ways.

First and foremost, they serve as mentors to Rett families who have reached out to Girl Power 2 Cure for support and camaraderie. They help us spread awareness for GP2C and Rett Syndrome. They host really fun events! And, they serve as a sounding board for everything going on here at GP2C.

Let's meet these ladies! (Click here to meet the rest of our team when you are done!)


Tanis Anderson

"When Melia was diagnosed in August 2011 I was heart broken, but it wasn't too long after that I found Girl Power 2 Cure and realized there was this whole group of amazing people who wanted to help and support me in any way they could. The next summer I met Kelly and Ingrid and fell more in love with the organization and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. So in February 2012 I ran with them in the Disney Princess Half Marathon and plan to run until Rett Syndrome is cured, and then I hope Melia will run it with me."
I feel honoured to be a part of the Mother's Advisory Board so that I might be able to help and support others like I have been these last few years!

visit Melia's page


Niki Tebbe

"Quinn was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in May of 2005. Our world was turned upside down.  As our family was adjusting to the struggles and challenges of life with Rett Syndrome, I met Ingrid Harding. We had many conversations about the organization she was developing to help the families and girls with Rett Syndrome.  I was in awe of her vision and goals for Girl Power 2 Cure.  You could say I have been with Ingrid since “the beginning." She has  formed an amazing organization that is mainstreaming awareness of Rett Syndrome, and offers ALL of us a place to turn for strength, advice and support.

I truly believe that our family was chosen to be a part of this incredible journey to find a cure for Rett Syndrome.  We are so proud to be Quinn’s parents. She is our inspiration every day.  Her patience, and love for life gets us through the toughest of days.  

I am honored to be a part of the Mothers' Advisory Board  and am looking forward to meeting and helping other families on this journey."

Niki  has been a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room for 20 years. She lives in Illinois with her husband Cliff and their children: Quinn, (10 RS), Ryker  (10), and Spencer (9).


Ronda Trester

"At the time of Courtney's diagnosis we were simply heart broken, scared, helpless, and lost beyond what words can describe.  Every doctor we went to never heard of Rett Syndrome and the specialists that were familiar with Rett Syndrome wanted to prepare us for the worst.  Our daughters future flashed before our eyes.  When it's your daughter, when it's your child, you will move Heaven and Earth to search for answers and to fix what is broken. 

We are blessed to be surrounded by some amazing friends and family that have stood by our side through the good times and the bad.  A couple of years after diagnosis we attended a golf tournament in our area for Rett Syndrome.  The event represented Girl Power 2 Cure and there we met a remarkable family, The Brooks.  We knew at that point we were meant to be with this organization.  A non-profit that is filled with hope, dedication, support, and loving caring individuals.  Spreading awareness and raising funds for continued research is key. It has been proven Rett is reversible! 
I am excited and honored to be part of such an inspirational group.  I am looking forward to meeting and helping other families through this Rett journey.  To empower the hope, embrace the possibilities and turn our dreams into realities. Together if we believe we can achieve!"
Ronda has been employed for over 10 years at financial institution. She resides in Little Elm, TX with her husband, Wally Trester, who also volunteers on the Board of Directors; and their two children Deven (15) and Courtney (8 RS).

Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Tweets for Rett Syndrome

Get your Twitter accounts tweeting this month for Rett Syndrome Awareness Month! If you don't have an account, get one - even if it's just for the month.


Here are 31 Tweets for Rett - one for each day of the month.

What do the symbols mean?
# means that you are adding that term to the search feature so everyone can pull up that phrase and see what has been posted.
@ means you are directing it to someone's twitter wall

Have some fun and add in your favorite celebrities to these posts! Use the @ symbol to reach out to friends on twitter, etc. It's fun! (Once you have a twitter account, you can search for people and find out what their account name is.)

We are @girlpower2cure. You can also just go to our page at and retweet (share) from there!


NOTE (Tweets that are highlighted have an image to go with them - see images to copy at bottom)


31 Tweets - October is #RettSyndrome Awareness Month - share this flower to help

A little girl is born with #RettSyndrome every 90 minutes.

Can't speak. Can't walk. Can't use hands. But you know everything going on around you. It's #RettSyndrome.

It's #RettSyndrome awareness month. Girls living trapped unable to speak or use their hands. Hear their stories.

October is not just for #breastcancer awareness. Women are suffering debilitated their whole lives with #RettSyndrome.

Have you seen these cool Purple Cards? 190,000 more people learned about #RettSyndrome this year. BE NEXT.

Baby girls are born "normal" but begin to lose motor skills between the ages of 1-3 years old. It's #RettSyndrome.

#RettSyndrome is caused by a single gene mutation that leads to underproduction of an important brain protein.

#RettSyndrome is the leading genetic cause of severe impairment in girls- most cannot speak, walk or use their hands.

Despite physical disabilities, girls with #RettSyndrome are functioning mentally at a much higher level than previously thought.

What is as prevalent as Cystic Fibrosis, ALS and Huntington's but you have not heard of it? #RettSyndrome. It's a girl thing.

#RettSyndrome has been reversed in the lab and could be first curable neurological disorder.

Why retweet this @GirlPower2Cure flower? It is always in bloom with hope & positive energy. Join me in fighting #RettSyndrome.

Need a challenge? Try one day in my shoes. #rettsyndrome

Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. It's who walked into your life, said, "I'm here for you" and proved it. #girlpower2cure

Expectations.  Have them.  Rett Girls can do amazing things.  #rettsyndrome #girlpower2cure #physicaltherapy  

Not all superheroes wear capes!  #girlpower2cure #rettsyndrome

Believe in the power of believing in yourself! #rettsyndrome #girlpower2cure

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....I know I can  #rettsyndrome #girlpower2cure

Look into their eyes and hear what they are not saying; because of #rettsyndrome their eyes speak louder than their voices ever will.

In honor of #rettsyndrome awareness month, I am rockin' the @GP2C flower and you can too!

1:10,000 doesn't seem like many but if it's YOUR child, it's too many #rettsyndrome

There's real hope for a cure. #rettsyndrome #gp2c

I know a girl that puts the "rett" in pRETTy. Actually I know lots of them, let me introduce you:

#RettSyndrome steals more than a voice or the ability to walk. It can also take a precious life. #nomoreemptyarms

What can girls with #RettSyndrome do? Amazing things! WATCH:

Join the hundreds of people running for girls who can't. #rettsyndrome #untilshecan

I've met some amazing girls with #RettSyndrome.  I invite you to take a moment to meet some of them.

I've covered a lot of miles this year but so has @GirlPower2Cure. Join me in their fight against #RettSyndrome.

How can you help a girl with #RettSyndrome? Give them a voice and get involved!

Closer than ever to a cure. Hundreds of thousands girls & women can be saved. Join our fight against #rettsyndrome.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Caught Being Awesome

Rett Syndrome is a journey. It can be a long, tough journey. There are good days and bad days -- and then sometimes there is that moment in time when someone comes along and makes it an AWESOME day.

Now that school is back in session for most everyone, we want to kick off our new campaign - "Caught Being Awesome!" Yep! You get to catch people doing great things.

What kinds of people? People who play a role in the life of a Rett Girl.

What kinds of things? If you are a Rett parent, it might be a special needs teacher that created new boards for the speech generation device without you even asking, or your doctor who gathered the latest Rett Syndrome research for you “just in case” you had not seen it. OR maybe your child’s 1:1 aide organized an amazing game at recess being sure that your daughter was fully included. Who knows, it just might be your next door neighbor that helped her kids set up a lemonade stand and surprised you with the money to make a donation to GP2C in your daughter’s honor. 

If you know a Rett Girl, it might be seeing her bus driver make that extra effort to get the temperature just right on the bus, or seeing a peer in school reach out to communicate and help.

All around, there are people showing a little bit of awesome, and we want to help you acknowledge them!   

Simply fill out the nomination form and let us know a little bit about your nominee and their awesomeness.

What happens when someone is caught being awesome? Freebies and Prizes of course!

Here are a few things we are doing to help you celebrate them:

1. Get 10 free "Caught Being Awesome" postcards in the mail to hand out to folks you want to acknowledge.

2. If you submit their contact info and story, we will contact them plus send them a thank you email and CBA graphic to post online. If they give us permission, we will also share their story on our CBA blog and on Facebook.

3. All nominees submitted during the month of September will be entered into a RAFFLE DRAWING. Each week in October, we will select one nominee at random to win a gift certificate to the GP2C store. The best story will receive our GRAND PRIZE which is a choice of spa treatment or iTunes gift card for both the nominator and the nominee ($100 value).

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Our New Space!

Eight years ago, when Sarah was 4, I sketched out the GP2C flower and started to build Girl Power 2 Cure in my mind. Since then, we have brought together an amazing team of over 30 people, all working virtually. It has always been a dream to have office space and start to build a physical base - a place for people to come to work, learn and volunteer.

Last summer I started more seriously thinking about this step and started to dream out loud with my 10-year-old daughter Gretchen every time we went by a place that was for lease.

When I signed the lease and brought her over to see, she said, "Mom! Dreams really do come true! Remember when you thought it would never happen? It happened!"

It happened because of our amazing supporters, our forward-thinking Board of Directors, and a plethora of volunteers waiting to come and help.

If you build it, they will come - right?

Here is a tour of our Field of Dreams - or in our case, GARDEN OF DREAMS!  We will keep sharing photos and stories as we make the place our own and have the impact we are excited to have in the Rett Syndrome community.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

GP2C High School Volunteer helps three girls in their battle against Rett Syndrome

Why Volunteer, Why Rett Syndrome, Why Girl Power 2 Cure?

These are some tough questions, directed at an Illinois High School Junior, Laura Irwin, when she reached out to us to volunteer for Girl Power 2 Cure.

Her answers had us double-checking that we were actually speaking to a 17-year-old, and not a 37-year-old. ;)

Laura is a competitive rowing athlete, an honor student, and one of our newest volunteers for GP2C.   She reached out to us in February while working on a school research/community service project for her IGSS (Integrated Global Study School) class.  She wanted to know how she could help, and how she could make a difference in the lives or days of a Rett family.  

Laura says she chose Rett Syndrome, and GP2C for her project because the syndrome intrigued her; she was captivated by the families, and found herself believing in our girls, and the mission behind GP2C.  

She had no previous experience volunteering, and has yet to meet a single Rett girl, yet she has spent countless hours researching, learning, talking to parents, and helping give some of our girls a voice.  Laura’s project entailed making a Communication Eye Gaze Board for the families she worked with, and presenting her final project to her classmates. She worked with three families, and tailored each communication board to fit the needs of each individual Rett girl. 

Watch this beautiful video that she put together for us - and see her Eye Gaze Boards in action!

We asked Laura "What were the best and worst parts of doing this project?"  She said there was not a worst part, only a slightly difficult part.  “Cutting the boards out, and finding a good system that would work for each girl was challenging, just when I thought I had a good system, I realized I didn’t.  Once I figured it all out, it was full of rewards.” 

Laura’s highlights include: Speaking with the families, seeing pictures of the girls being able to communicate using her boards, knowing that she made a difference in their lives, and sharing her findings and experiences with her classmates.

“Speaking with the families, realizing how similar the girls are, and yet how unique and individual they each are was eye-opening.  I thought I would be helping them, teaching them, but I think I learned the most in the end.”

GP2C would like to thank Laura for the countless hours she put into helping enrich the lives of some of our Rett families.  She gave her time and talents.  She helped open the door to communication, and she shared her new-found love and respect for our Rett community with her school.  In doing so, she made a difference.

Volunteers come in all ages, shapes, sizes, and from different places. Contact us to see how YOU can help.  Learn more.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight!

Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another. ~Erma Bombeck
We asked Kelly Shubert, mom to Emma, and host of Rockin' for Rett - Oley, PA about the volunteers who helped make her most recent Rockin' for Rett a success. 
"It takes a village to raise a child...and I am part of the most awesome village of all.  This event would not have happened without their support.  Each of them has gone out of their way," she said.

"A special thanks does go out to the amazing chefs of the event.  The Fire & Spice competition BBQ team of Eric, Patrise and Sammi.  Time and again, they simply said YES!  They took over a large portion of the event without hesitation even amongst a busy volleyball season with Sammi!  They ran back and forth all day between the event and Sammi's volleyball tournament, all while making sure all the food was hot and ready to eat, and all the food related details were taken care of.
They give their time, and share their talents.  They do this all from the heart, with no expectation of anything in return."
Thank you Fire & Spice!
Want to learn more about how you can make a difference?  Contact our volunteer coordinator, Mimi Burns and learn how you can help.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our New Professional Advisory Board

We are excited to announce the formation of a GP2C Professional Advisory Board (PAB)! The board consists of medical professionals as well as legal, marketing and fundraising experts who will advise and assist GP2C in its mission to raise awareness, support families and fund research for Rett, a debilitating neurological disorder.

We value the advice and assistance of these professionals which are crucial to the future of our organization and our ability to provide quality programs and services to the Rett Syndrome community, our volunteers and our supporters.

Visit the GP2C Professional Advisory Board web page to read all about these amazing new additions to the GP2C Team!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our First Ambassador - Ali Vincent!

Everyone here at Girl Power 2 Cure is doing the signature Ali "jump" in the air! We are thrilled to be working with Ali Vincent, the first female winner of The Biggest Loser, as our first official "GP2C Ambassador." Not only does she embody resilience, ambition and the power of positive thinking, Ali has a huge heart and has fallen in love with our Rett girls.

Ali with Oaklynn who has Rett Syndrome

We first met Ali at the Disney Princess Half Marathon where she immediately put on a GP2C shirt and became a member of Team GP2C.


Ali shares, "The moms behind Girl Power 2 Cure instantly touched my heart by sharing their daughters' stories, and I knew I wanted to do anything and everything I could do to help." 

Ali has added information about GP2C and Rett Syndrome on the Ali Gives section of her website, and is going to help us grow Gardens of Hope around the country.

"Girl Power 2 Cure allows opportunities for everyone to get involved," says Ali.  "I advocate finding ways to feel empowered through growing/building strength and confidence so true beauty can shine through. I can't think of a better way than growing a Garden of Hope within your community or wearing the GP2C flower on your running shirt to remind us that through small acts of kindness, smiles can bloom on little girls faces everywhere."

Like the title of her new book, "Believe It, Be It," Ali is ready to also believe in the power to cure Rett Syndrome and wants to play a big role in making that dream come true.

She says, "I am passionate about helping to bring awareness to Rett Syndrome and raise funds to support continued research. Research has already proven that it's not an IF-a-cure-is-possible, it is a WHEN-a-cure-will-be-available."

Thank you for believing in our Rett Girls Ali! We look forward to lots of great work together in the months ahead.

Monday, April 22, 2013

National Volunteer Service Week: Welcome Mimi!

We'd like to take this opportunity during National Volunteer Week to introduce you to our new Volunteer Coordinator, Mimi Burns!

Mimi serves on our Mothers' Advisory Board and is a stay-at-home mother of two. Her oldest child, Sophia, has Rett Syndrome.  She is passionate about raising awareness for Rett Syndrome and doing everything she can to bring together volunteers of all ages and locations.

Mimi says, "My goal is to help raise awareness, to make friend connections for Rett Girls, and to give everyone the hand they need to fundraise, which holds the key to a cure for the thousands of girls affected by Rett Syndrome."

Mimi is always trying to find the perfect balance between coordinating Sophia’s extensive medical care, therapies, and home schooling while attending and coordinating the busy life of school, sports and extra curricular activities for younger brother, Calan.  She believes that it is important for both her children to understand the need for and the responsibility of volunteers.  Mimi and Sophia can often be found at her son's school, or out in the community, raising awareness, and giving back when and wherever possible.

Mimi shares her outlook: "In my own way, in my small little corner of the world, I have tried to give back....  To the community which embraces my family and I. To the schools that educate my children. To the strangers who have become friends, who travel along the same path as I do while loving someone who has Rett Syndrome.  I volunteer my hands, my time, talents, and sometimes just my listening ear or a strong shoulder.  I believe we all have the responsibility to volunteer, I am fortunate enough that I can do it with Girl Power 2 Cure, an organization I believe in with my whole heart."

Mimi lives in Crown Point, IN with her two children, Sophia (11) and Calan (9) along with their two dogs, Jade and Zoe.  We are thrilled to have Mimi working with our volunteers!

Ready to volunteer for GP2C? Email Mimi to get started! 

Did you know Girl Power 2 Cure is an official certifying organization of The President's Volunteer Service Award Program?  You can work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold Service Award with the hours you volunteer for our cause. Learn more about the award criteria here.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Million Dollar Milestone!

Grow baby grow! We have surpassed $1 million raised since our founding in 2006. The GP2C flower is sprouting up by the thousands all over the world, bringing the story of our beautiful, brave girls who are battling Rett Syndrome to light. We couldn't be more proud and more in awe of our families, supporters, donors, event hosts, staff, board and volunteers - from our largest corporate sponsors to the little 2-year-old sporting a flower on her cheek. We are doing this together.

And we have a lot more to do. We have big dreams. Dreams of better awareness, dreams of better education, dreams of treatments and of cures. Most of all, dreams of helping these girls live out THEIR dreams.

The flower is symbolic of something fragile yet powerful in its beauty, strength and ability to weather storms - just like girls living with Rett Syndrome. All of these girls deserve to blossom.

Thank you for your joining in on our fight. Not involved yet? Please reach out. We have lots of flowers to grow!

Click below to visit our photo albums and see what we have been up to!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Folks!

We are excited to announce the addition of three amazing Rett moms to our Mothers' Advisory Board! What is the MAB? It is a group of dedicated mothers who have daughters with Rett Syndrome who help GP2C in many ways.

First and foremost, they serve as mentors to Rett families who have reached out to Girl Power 2 Cure for support and camaraderie. They help us spread awareness for GP2C and Rett Syndrome. They host really fun events! And, they serve as a sounding board for everything going on here at GP2C.

Let's meet these ladies! (Click here to meet the rest of our team).

Shelley Schmidt
“I am so excited to be working with Girl Power 2 Cure!  I have a feeling that some exciting things are going to be happening very soon in the Rett world!  Rett Syndrome is what McKenna has, but it is NOT who she is.  Living with Rett Syndrome really helps me put my life into perspective.  I have learned what is truly important.”

Shelley has a BA in Special Education, a Master’s degree in Reading, and she is currently working on a second Master’s degree in ESL.

Shelley has been a special education teacher for 23 years.  She teaches in an inclusive classroom, and she has presented on inclusion at Rett conferences in Illinois.  She lives in Plano, Illinois with her husband, Jim, and their three children, McKenna (17 RS), Bryson (12), and Braylon (4).

visit McKenna's page

Whitney Cooley
"Being Oaklynn's mom has been amazing. She has taught me so much more than I could ever teach her. These girls are so inspirational and deserve to live the life they have always wanted. Being a part of the Girl Power 2 Cure community has been great. I am so grateful my sister found it shortly after Oaklynn's diagnosis. It has brought me hope, encouragement, strength, and love. Let's help find these girls a cure!"

-Mom of 2 girls and owns a vinyl business in Arizona. Daughter is Oaklynn.

visit Oaklynn's page

Mimi Burns
When Sophia was diagnosed with Rett in 2006 I was overwhelmed by the (lack of) positive information available, lack of knowledgeable doctors, and the statistics that were presented in regards to quality, and quantity of life.  I felt there was little hope, and so little to believe in.... It was years later when I learned of Girl Power to Cure, and our lives were forever changed.  I learned that there was HOPE!  That we were not alone, and that together~ we CAN make a difference.  A simple invite for Rockin' for Rett gave me an insight to who and what GP2C was really all about.  Strangers welcomed us into their home, shared meals with us, and treated us like family.  My son learned that there are kids, all over the world with a Rett sister~ just like him. Through Girl Power we all formed friendships, and found a place to turn to for strength, guidance, advice, and support. Girl Power 2 Cure is a symbol of strength and courage.  Its flower, a simple reminder that if we believe, anything is possible.  I am honored to be a part of this organization, and am looking forward to meeting and helping other families on this journey. 

Mimi lives in Indiana with her son Calen and daughter Sophia.

visit Sophia's page