Ten years ago, when I started TCSF my daughter Esmé was seizing on average 15 times a week and struggling with extreme medical fragility. Her precarious health meant that nearly everything in our lives had stopped. She and I would spend days out of every week in bed with her sleeping, waking only to seize. It was in this position, pinned in place both figuratively and literally, that I started the foundation. And in all honesty, it was as much of an effort to cast toward some hope of helping Esmé as it was a way for me to maintain my sanity through some seemingly impossible days.
At first the vision was just to tell my daughter’s story and raise some limited funds for research. Both things turned out to be more complicated than I thought. First, Esmé’s genetic diagnoses continued to evolve, moving us through several communities—as she was both over and under diagnosed. Second, understanding what kinds of research best serve a community as it evolves quickly from being entirely uncharacterized to looking toward potential precision treatments, has proven to be an intriguingly complex problem to solve.