Jessi’s Rett Warriors

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Our daughter, Jessi, was misdiagnosed with autism when she was 2 years old.  We suspected Rett after a year of searching for answers, but we could not convince our doctors to look deeper into why our daughter was delayed in learning to walk or why she could only use one hand.  Fast forward almost a decade and we have moved back to Dana's hometown, we have a new neurologist, and we've been asked to participate in a genetic study.  In February of 2014, Jessi's genetics results are in.  The geneticist across the table looks at us and says, "Have you ever heard of Rett Syndrome?"  Jessi is now 11 years old and we finally have the answers we have searched for, for so long.

Today, Jessi is a beautiful 15 year-old girl.  She is loving her first year of high school.  She enjoys watching VeggieTales videos, acting silly, and eating french fries.  Jessi loves music and listening to her high school band.  She loves her family and we are so blessed to have her in our life.

No one wants their child to be diagnosed with a debilitating disease, but when you watch your child slowly become locked away in a body that will not work, you become desperate to know what is stealing your child away.  We tell people that we are no longer throwing punches in the dark.  We are so very thankful that our enemy has a name and that we belong to a community that is so loving and dedicated to fighting the monster we call "Rett".

Fight alongside us.  We need you - and we need you NOW.

With hope and love,

Tony, Dana, and Jessi Watts


What is Rett Syndrome?

Rett Syndrome is serious lifelong neurological disorder that is caused by random mutations in a gene called MECP2. Diagnosed almost exclusively in girls, symptoms typically appear in toddlerhood. Many children with Rett are unable to speak, walk or use their hands. Breathing problems, feeding tubes, seizures, anxiety, gastrointestinal and orthopedic issues are common.

Despite the debilitating nature of the disorder our girls are so much more than a laundry list of symptoms. Their beauty and their strength inspire and motivate us.

Rett Syndrome stands apart from other neurological disorders due to the dramatic reversibility of symptoms in animal models. Our confidence that Rett Syndrome is curable guides our every decision.

Learn more about Rett here.

Who is RSRT?

The Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) was launched in 2008 with a singular goal: to drive the development of treatments and cures for Rett Syndrome and related MECP2 disorders. As one of the few neurological disorders to demonstrate dramatic symptom reversal in the lab, Rett Syndrome has captured the attention of the world's premiere university and pharmaceutical industry scientists. RSRT is operating at the nexus of this activity, leading and advancing the research agenda.

By funding the most Rett research worldwide, $35 million since 2008, we strive to put ourselves out of business as soon as possible.

Learn more about RSRT here.

Supporters (6)

  1. Banks-Caddell Elementary School 
    10 months ago
    $3,629.15
  2. Britny Holt & Marcy Reynolds 
    11 months ago
    $330
  3. Cynthia Tatum 
    11 months ago
    $25
  4. Glenna Ledbetter 
    1 year ago
    $1,450
  5. Dan Truitt 
    1 year ago
    $100
  6. Heather Murphy 
    1 year ago
    $50

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