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Church group opts for home front mission
Susie Davis was at a loss for words as she tried to express the gratitude that she felt for members of Community Baptist Church on Thursday.
"It's like a big huge embrace from a loving family that I've never had before," Davis said after she found the words she was searching for.
The Henderson resident is one of about five families in Henderson who saw their homes worked on by other members of their community this week.
Tim Hobbs, the pastor at Community Baptist Church, said that they usually plan a mission trip, but this year they wanted to help people in their own community.
"There are people here who need our help," he said.
This is the first year that the church has done this kind of mission work in the community, but Hobbs said he hopes that this is the start of something new.
Hobbs said this work is a part of fulfilling God's mission.
"It's up to us to give back," he said.
The church mission team began work on Monday and they've worked from about noon to 7 p.m. every day, church member Jica Crafton said.
Crafton said she liked seeing the progress that she and other church members have made on the houses they've worked on.
"Everything we've done has left a mark," she said.
Davis' house on Washington Street isn't the only house in Henderson that has seen renovations and upgrades. About 20 church members have worked on about five other sites painting, helping with yard work and staining decks.
"We don't deserve it," Davis said. "There are other people who need it."
Davis lives in her house with her son, Kevin Gentry.
"To sit and watch your property deteriorate is so painful," Davis said. "Especially when you've been the type who has done anything and everything."
Gentry was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia, a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system, when he was 16 and Davis has been taking care of him since.
Davis said Gentry has defied the odds, and is a "miracle"-- doctors told her not to expect him to live past 21.
"If it wasn't for his church family he would have given up," she said.
Davis said that Community Baptist has been a huge help to her and her son.
Gentry, who is in a wheelchair, sat on his deck as it was being stained to visit with the church members.
"I think it's great that they take the time, not only for us, but for other people in the city," Gentry said.
Davis said she is so thankful for the work that she could sit and stare at her freshly painted garage all day.
"We're blessed to have a roof over our head and doubly blessed to have them do this work," Davis said.
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Currently, BabelFAmily is financing two promising research projects aimed at finding a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia. Whenever you make a donation to us or purchase a copy of "The legacy of Marie Schlau", this is where all funds raised will be devoted to:
1) Gene Therapy for Friedreich's Ataxia research project:
The project is the result of an initiative of Spanish people affected by this rare disease who are grouped in GENEFA in collaboration with the Spanish Federation of Ataxias and the BabelFAmily. The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), one of the main patients’ associations in the United States now joins the endeavour.
2) Frataxin delivery research project:
The associations of patients and families Babel Family and the Asociación Granadina de la Ataxia de Friedreich (ASOGAF) channel 80,000 euros of their donations (50% from each organisation) into a new 18-month project at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The project specifically aims to complete a step necessary in order to move towards a future frataxin replacement therapy for the brain, where the reduction of this protein causes the most damage in patients with Friedreich’s Ataxia.
The study is headed by Ernest Giralt, head of the Peptides and Proteins Lab, who has many years of experience and is a recognised expert in peptide chemistry and new systems of through which to delivery drugs to the brain, such as peptide shuttles—molecules that have the capacity to carry the drug across the barrier that surrounds and protects the brain. Since the lab started its relation with these patients’ associations in 2013*, it has been developing another two projects into Friedrich’s Ataxia.