Bridget MacDonald has served on our Mother’s Advisory Board for several years, and is now our RettGirl.org Coordinator. She is passionate about Rett Syndrome and doing everything she can to bring a cure to the thousands of girls and boys affected. A busy mother of four, her second child, Annie, has Rett Syndrome. She home schools Annie and is active in all of her children’s schools and extracurricular activities.
Bridget graduated from Western Michigan University in 1999 with a B.A. in Nutrition. She worked as a clinical, registered dietitian at William Beaumont Hospital and was a program director at the American Diabetes Association prior to motherhood. She lives in Michigan with her husband, Scott, and children: James, Annie, Grace, and Jackson.
My name is Vanessa Covington. I am married to Phil and we have two boys and Martilee. We have lived in many places, but currently reside in the small town of Glenwood, IA. I am a stay at home mom who enjoys being creative, going “junking”, and running #untilshecan.
Hello my name is Maria Hernandez and this my Goddaughter/Niece Danai Gutiérrez. We are from Texas. I love raising awareness every chance I get for her and for all of our girls. Danai’s favorite therapy is horse therapy at Unbridled. I dream of the day we have a cure for our girls.
“Sometimes you have to grow where you are planted.”
Those are the words my mother said to me not long after we received Evie’s diagnosis of Rett Syndrome. At the time, those words stung because I didn’t want to be planted here. It was scary and unknown. I just wanted to stay in my bitter shell. Then I decided I wasn’t going to live like that anymore. I contacted Ingrid and asked how I could help. A short drive and a can of paint later and I found my purpose. If I was going to be planted in Rett Syndrome, then I was going to be a bright flower in an otherwise cloudy world. We don’t always get to pick the soil we are planted in, but we do get to choose how and what we grow. Everyday I choose to grow with hope; knowing that our girls don’t fit into a “one size fits all” box. They are smart. They are funny. They are patient. They are so strong and brave. They are capable of so much more than people know and every day Evie surprises me with what she can do.
My hope has flourished since meeting Ingrid and other families from all over the country. They have been an source of encouragement and understanding and without them I would be a bit lost. They inspired me to run a half marathon with them in 2015. They are helping me grow as a mother and an individual. I am proud to be a part of Girl Power 2 Cure and feel so honored to be a member of the Mother’s Advisory Board. I am looking forward to watching our hope spread and helping others just like these families have helped me.
– Stay at home mom/wife, mother of Evelyn, champion of hope
My name is Morgan, and my niece has Rett Syndrome. She has made such a positive impact in my life. I have a tremendous passion for raising awareness and funds to find a cure for Rett Syndrome. I am either baking dog treats for my business, Harley’s Bakery, or fundraising for Girl Power 2 Cure, and sometimes both!
My name is Karla Perez from Donna, TX (Down by the Border) I am bilingual English and Spanish. I’m currently a stay at home Mom of three Diego, Luz Viviana and Samantha. Being a stay at home mom for the past three years has allowed me to get more involved in raising awareness and funds for Rett Syndrome research. I enjoy helping newly diagnosed families in the USA as well as Mexico. I am honored to be part of the Power Team and look forward to working with many families.
Quinn was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in May of 2005. Our world was turned upside down. As our family was adjusting to the struggles and challenges of life with Rett Syndrome, I met Ingrid Harding. We had many conversations about the organization she was developing to help the families and girls with Rett Syndrome. I was in awe of her vision and goals for Girl Power 2 Cure. You could say I have been with Ingrid since “the beginning.” She has formed an amazing organization that is mainstreaming awareness of Rett Syndrome, and offers ALL of us a place to turn for strength, advice and support.
I truly believe that our family was chosen to be a part of this incredible journey to find a cure for Rett Syndrome. We are so proud to be Quinn’s parents. She is our inspiration every day. Her patience, and love for life gets us through the toughest of days.
I am honored to be a part of the Mothers’ Advisory Board and am looking forward to meeting and helping other families on this journey.
Niki has been a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room for 20 years. She lives in Illinois with her husband Cliff and their children: Quinn, Ryker, and Spencer.
I joined Girl Power 2 Cure after we learned of our daughter, Laura’s diagnosis of Rett Syndrome in March of 2007. Since then we have learned so much from her and we believe she was sent to us to teach us so much about love, patience, and life. Girl Power has given us a place to go to for help and be a part of an incredible journey.
Tina is a high school music teacher in Tucson, AZ. Her daughter is Laura.
When Sophia was diagnosed with Rett in 2006 I was overwhelmed by the (lack of) positive information available, lack of knowledgeable doctors, and the statistics that were presented in regards to quality, and quantity of life. I felt there was little hope, and so little to believe in…. It was years later when I learned of Girl Power to Cure, and our lives were forever changed. I learned that there was HOPE! That we were not alone, and that together~ we CAN make a difference. A simple invite for Rockin’ for Rett gave me an insight to who and what GP2C was really all about.
Strangers welcomed us into their home, shared meals with us, and treated us like family. My son learned that there are kids, all over the world with a Rett sister~ just like him. Through Girl Power, we all formed friendships and found a place to turn to for strength, guidance, advice, and support. Girl Power is a symbol of strength and courage. It’s flower, a simple reminder that if we believe, anything is possible. I am honored to be a part of this organization and am looking forward to meeting and helping other families on this journey.
Mimi lives in Indiana with her son Calen and daughter Sophia.
Jennifer is a full-time music teacher, wife to Brian, and a mother to two beautiful children, Brianna and Alexander (AJ) My son, yes you heard right, my son AJ has Rett syndrome. We love traveling and spending time together. I’m so excited to have this opportunity to help raise awareness and be a voice for our boys who are affected by Rett syndrome.
I’ve been a nurse for 20 years and have worked in various settings (nursing home, hospitals, and even an orthodontist’s office) however the majority of my career was devoted to working as a home health nurse for a young woman named Kimberlee. When I met Kim I had never heard of Rett Syndrome. The information I did find was not encouraging and didn’t reflect the clearly intelligent and engaging girl I spent hours with each day. Although Kim was non-verbal we quickly bonded and developed a close friendship. Music was a huge part of our bond and we made it a point to have a dance party every day we spent together!
After 14 amazing yrs together Kim’s fight with Rett came to an end. Devastated by the loss of my best friend, I coped the only way I knew how: music and dancing. We set up an annual fundraiser in her memory (Swingin’ 4 Rett) and I knew I wanted to donate the proceeds to GP2C. I am so proud to share the things Kim taught me and see that she can still have such a positive impact on others. We have several Rett families who attend our annual event and I have had the privilege of working with and advocating for TiaMarie and her family. Additionally, I am a homeschooling mom of 2 awesome boys and my husband and I teach Swing & Salsa dancing thru our dance studio Spa City Swingers.
My name is Cora Foster, and my identical twin daughters, Charlie and Olivia, were diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in September of 2017, at two and a half years old. My husband and I were devastated with the news, as the vision of how we thought our girls’ future would unfold became blurry. We didn’t know what to expect or where to turn. Thankfully, we connected with the Rett Syndrome community online and quickly found out about Girl Power 2 Cure, among other resources for our girls. Fundraising and our daughters’ communication became our main focuses, so we dove into charity events and Rett University’s online educational resources. Since Charlie and Olivia’s diagnosis, we have raised over $25,000 for Rett Syndrome research, with no plans to stop until a cure is found. I’m proud to be a part of the GP2C Power Team and look forward to actively participating in events and campaigns to raise awareness, educate our girls, and ultimately find a cure for Rett Syndrome.
Cora has a BA in Communication arts and a BS in Marketing from the University of Alabama – Huntsville and is a global marketing program manager for Hexagon PPM, an engineering software company. She and Trey are raising Charlie and Olivia in Madison, Alabama, perfectly situated between Vanderbilt Medical Center and UAB’s Rett Clinic.
Hello my name is Jeannette Vega. I am the wife of Victor Vega and mom to Tiana who has Rett Syndrome and Aliyah. My professional background is in Zoo Animal Technology, Exotic and Domestic Animal Training and also am a certified Canine Training and Behavioral Specialist. However, when Tiana was diagnosed in 2015 I decided I would put that career aside to learn all I can about Rett Syndrome and quite honestly to soak in the reality of our new life.
Within a month of diagnosis, we found out about the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon and learned the GP2C had a team of runners! My husband signed up immediately having never done a marathon prior and dressed up as Ariel in honor of Tiana and her love for water, and as a symbol of voiceless beauty and “legless” strength. During this time we met so many Rett families and what a sign of HOPE that all is going to be ok. That we are not alone. It was such a blessing to meet everyone and feel an instant connection. I am so grateful to GP2C for providing events where we can all gather together and share life’s trials and joys. I don’t think I would be in such a great emotional state if it weren’t for the support GP2C provides to Rett Syndrome families and the support that the families provide for each other.
I am here to pay it forward. To help support such a great organization and to reach out to other families. I am here to help raise funds, bring awareness and push the medical industry all the way to a Cure!
I have lived in Cincinnati for the past 18 years and am a stay-at-home mother of 3 to Abby (20), Josh (16) and Chloe (15). I met my husband, Mark, at Miami University and have been married for 28 years. I earned an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland in 1994 and a Bachelor of Science in Business in Finance from Miami in 1990. I started running when Chloe was 3 because she would wake up early and we would go out for morning walks -which soon became runs. Running led me to the Princess half marathon which led me to the GP2C booth the first year of its existence. I have been running for GP2C and Chloe ever since!
Abby just completed her sophomore year at Miami University. Greatly influenced by her love for her sister, she is studying Special Education with a research focus in Assistive Technology. She is currently in her second summer working as an Education Instructor (Camp Counselor) at the Cincinnati Zoo. A perfect combination of two of her interests – kids and animals! She, too, loves to run for her sister.