The Long Sprint - a Column by Laura King Edwards

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Laura cofounded Taylor’s Tale, one of the leading forces in the fight against Batten disease. Her sister, Taylor, was diagnosed with CLN1 disease at age 7; Laura writes “The Long Sprint” to inform and inspire anyone affected by rare disease. She is a professional content writer and published author — her memoir, “Run to the Light,” hit shelves in 2018. She is also a TEDx speaker and prolific runner. Laura earned an English degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native of Charlotte, she lives with her husband and son in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Running for a Greater Purpose

At the end of March, I ran a real race for the first time in 16 months, traveling to the “Horse Capital of the World” for Lexington, Kentucky’s RunTheBluegrass Half Marathon. The contest christened Kentucky as the 24th of 50 states in my nationwide quest to honor…

Soon I’ll Be Racing for Real Again

My sister, Taylor, was diagnosed with CLN1 disease on a hot summer day in 2006, during the “Dark Ages” of Batten disease research, before we knew much about symptom management. So, when the geneticist who confirmed the diagnosis told my parents that doctors couldn’t do anything to help the bright-eyed…

Walking the Path From Here to There

This will be my last post of 2020. But instead of wailing that the new year can’t possibly get here soon enough, I want to end a tough year on a high note. To infuse these troubling times with a touch of optimism, at least in the tiny corner of…

Giving Thanks, Despite Batten Disease

Thanksgiving began as a simple gathering hundreds of years before the invention of football and shopping malls. For the Pilgrims, this special day was about giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and the preceding year. In modern America, the fourth Thursday of November brings turkey and touchdowns, Turkey…

Batten Disease Changed Our Halloweens Long Before COVID-19

Trick-or-treating’s early history is shrouded in mystery, though a “Peanuts” comic strip immortalized the tradition in 1951. That means that this year may be the quietest for door-to-door activity in nearly three-quarters of a century, with Halloween falling squarely in the middle of a pandemic. Only the boldest costumed…

Good News for CLN1 Disease and a Sprint to the Finish

Last week, Taysha Gene Therapies announced the company has entered into license and inventory purchase agreements with Abeona Therapeutics for ABO-202, an adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy for CLN1 disease (Batten disease). In the longest race, this news is a huge leap forward for children…

When Is It OK to Quit Fighting Rare Disease?

If she were still alive, my younger sister would have celebrated her 22nd birthday today. Instead, Taylor died from CLN1 disease (Batten disease) in September 2018, more than 12 years after her diagnosis. Long before I said goodbye to my sister, I knew all of the work our charity,…