Chelsea Turns 25 Years Old

A campaign by: Monica & Pieter Coenraads / $25,000 Goal
34 Donors
Raised Percent :

101.38% Funded
, United States (US)
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Our precious daughter is turning 25 years old this month. When we were her age we had graduate degrees, we had traveled extensively, had jobs that excited us, we were planning our wedding. Chelsea has never spoken a word or taken an independent step. She cannot use her hands. She is tortured by relentless seizures and an indescribable anxiety that torments her day and night.

Despite her many challenges Chelsea showers us with love and affection. Her soulful and intense gaze and the smiles that melt us speak louder than words ever could.

When Chelsea was diagnosed with Rett syndrome at the age of 2 very little was known about the disorder, including what caused it. Monica made our young daughter a promise that she would dedicate herself to helping develop a cure for Rett.

Today we know the cause, dozens of animal models have been developed, and great progress has been made in understanding the “Rett protein”. Most importantly there is an active research community focused on attacking the root cause of the disorder through genetic solutions. We expect gene replacement clinical trials to start as soon as year-end.

The Rett Syndrome Research Trust, run by Monica and inspired by Chelsea, has played a significant role in this remarkable progress.

Chelsea is the most vulnerable and yet the strongest person we know. In celebration of her milestone birthday we ask that you make a donation in support of Rett research that honors her resilience.

If you leave a comment for her (click on comment right under the pictures above) we’ll make sure to read her each one.

With love and gratitude,

Monica and Pieter Coenraads

Ps  Chelsea’s grandmother died this past January. Nonna always called Chelsea “mio tesoro bello”….my beautiful treasure. It is with that term of endearment in mind that we have named the giving levels.

Donation Amount Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $10000
Donation levels



1 Donor



1 Donor



3 Donors



0 Donors



0 Donors



3 Donors



15 Donors



8 Donors

Name Donate Amount Date
Usree Bhattacharya $100.00 October 24, 2021
Elizabeth Wolffe $2,500.00 October 23, 2021
Deborah Wright DeVere $100.00 October 22, 2021
Jan Ramirez $2,500.00 October 21, 2021
Deborah Wright DeVere $0.00 October 21, 2021
Karen Fox $100.00 October 21, 2021
John Spiro $150.00 October 20, 2021
Matthew Lyst $50.00 October 20, 2021
Huda Zoghbi $2,500.00 October 19, 2021
Luis Sanchez-Perez $250.00 October 18, 2021
Michael Elowitz $100.00 October 17, 2021
Peter Young $100.00 October 17, 2021
Emily Nevola $35.00 October 16, 2021
Mary Palmet $50.00 October 16, 2021
Marta Benedetti $100.00 October 16, 2021
Ann Fromm $100.00 October 16, 2021
Kathrin Meyer $250.00 October 15, 2021
Jeff Bemiss $100.00 October 15, 2021
Jim Selfridge $10.00 October 15, 2021
Eric Marsh $50.00 October 14, 2021
Anonymous $250.00 October 14, 2021
Annie McDonald $100.00 October 13, 2021
Andrea Cerase $50.00 October 13, 2021
Alan Packer $100.00 October 11, 2021
Christina Greeley $50.00 October 11, 2021
Anonymous $10,000.00 October 11, 2021
AnnMarie & Bill Harlor $5,000.00 October 11, 2021
Ben Philpot $100.00 October 10, 2021
Ann White $50.00 October 10, 2021
William Lowry $100.00 October 10, 2021
Ben Shaberman $50.00 October 10, 2021
Alex Coenraads $150.00 October 10, 2021
Ricki D.avis $150.00 October 07, 2021
Alexandra Seeber $50.00 October 05, 2021


  1. Ricki Davis
    (verified owner):

    I hope your birthday is full of PINK things that bring you joy! Happy Birthday Chelsea.

  2. Alex Coenraads
    (verified owner):

    Missing my sister

  3. Ben Philpot
    (verified owner):

    Chelsea, you are an amazing young woman who has not just provided a motivation for a person or two, but you have helped start an entire scientific movement!! You are amazing, and you deserve an amazing birthday. May your birthday be filled with cuddles with your parents while watching a good movie, joking with your brothers, and soothing walks outdoors where you can enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds that come with the wonderful fall season. May you have a joyous 25th birthday!!!!

  4. Ricki Davis
    (verified owner):

    Happy Birthday to a beautiful young lady. Your strength and courage is an inspiration to us. You and your mother have helped more people than you know. All our love, the Harlors

  5. Christy Greeley
    (verified owner):

    Happy Birthday Chelsea! You are almost the exact same age as my daughter Alex. Our whole family wishes you lots of love and joy for your special day and always. You, your mom and your entire family are warriors!

  6. Alex and Chelsea
    (verified owner):

    Happy 25th Birthday Chelsea!
    We think about you every day while we’re down here in Alabama and are always missing you. You serve as a gold standard of what it means to be a strong woman in adversity. You always find a way to make us smile and we cherish those moments where your happiness shines through.

    From Alex – While you have touched the lives of so many, none can compare to how you have influenced my growth and I am SO proud to be your brother.

    From Chelsea – I couldn’t ask for a better name buddy. Thank you for raising Alex right 🙂 and I can’t wait to see you during the holidays. I hope to one day be able to replicate your courage and attitude in life. Thanks for welcoming me so easily into your family.

  7. Annie McDonald
    (verified owner):

    Happy 25th Birthday Chelsea! Hope that your birthday is as special as you are. xoxoxo
    The Marcuccio Family

  8. Jeff Bemiss
    (verified owner):

    Happy Birthday Chelsea! I believe that some day soon, no one will ever have to worry about Rett Syndrome again, thanks to you and your mom. Very few people get to make such a huge difference in the world. It is a special honor, and you should feel proud. I am so grateful for people like you and your mom. Thank you!

  9. Kathrin Meyer

    Dear Chelsea, I wish you the very best for your 25th birthday. I hope you will get lots of messages from all around the world. You are encouraging all of us to work harder every day! thank you so much for sharing your story and helping out with research. We are all thinking of you!!

  10. Ann Fromm
    (verified owner):

    Dear Chelsea,
    I’m sorry you lost your grandmother — sorry your parent lost her own mother. Your Nonna hated to leave you; as a grandmother myself I know this for sure. I also know that her love is reaching you even now and that her spirit will be with you forever. May you have a happy birthday and many, many more filled with such love!

  11. Mary Palmer
    (verified owner):

    Happy 25th birthday Chelsea!! May the year ahead be filled with joy and happiness that is so well-deserved,

  12. Luis Sanchez-Perez
    (verified owner):

    Chelsea, hope you have Happy Birthday! It is disheartening to see our loved “Tesoros” go through suffering every day of their lives, but these “Tesoros” are so resilient that even within these daily battles, they provide us with the most coveted richest of all… Love. Whether it is a smile, leaning by you or a simple gaze… it is pure love. Chelsea, you are a Love “Tesoro” and I hope you have the most amazing birthday ever!

  13. Huda Zoghbi
    (verified owner):

    Dear Chelsea,
    Happy Birthday! I cannot believe you are 25! I have watched you grow from the time you were three years old and I am amazed by your beauty and your resilience. I thank you for your patience and for being an inspiration to all of us. I hope the coming year will bring you happiness and that your dream for better treatments will become a reality soon. With much love, XOXXO

  14. John Spiro
    (verified owner):

    Happy birthday Chelsea. You are the same age as my own daughter. I’ve never met you– but I’ve watched very closely how your mother has literally changed the world in response to some of your challenges by organizing and motivating a large community of scientists and others. It’s been amazing to watch- and it has been a huge positive influence on so many others in other communities.

  15. Karen Fox
    (verified owner):

    Happy 25th, Chelsea! Hope to see you around the neighborhood soon!!

  16. Nino and Erika Ramirez
    (verified owner):

    Dear Chelsea: Happy Birthday!!
    Your story is in every presentation that I give since I met you the first time more than 20 years ago. You are inspiring so many people all over the world. Let’s hope from the bottom of all of our hearts that this will also benefit YOU in the near future.
    We wish you all the very best – may this be a magical year for you.
    Nino and Erika

  17. Elizabeth WOlffe
    (verified owner):

    Dear Chelsea,
    You have inspired a tremendous movement to understand and find a treatment for Rett syndrome and your wonderful family have worked tirelessly to help fund and drive research forward. Its been amazing to watch!
    We wish you a very Happy Birthday and a wonderful year ahead!
    Fond regards,
    Liz, Max and Kate Wolffe

  18. Usree Bhattacharya
    (verified owner):

    Chelsea, we’ve never met, but you stand for so much hope for my little girl Kalika, who also has Rett syndrome, and our entire family. You’ve given your mother, and through her our community, so much inspiration to fight hard for everyone who has Rett syndrome. Thank you and happy birthday!

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