This week on Helping Hands we meet Ben Schust and Betty Parker, two remarkable people with touching stories.
If someone asked you what a SCN2A gene mutation is, you might reply with a blank stare. You wouldn’t be alone; the disorder continues to baffle researchers and medical professionals around the world. SCN2A gene mutations disrupt the brains regulation of the neuronal sodium channels. This disruption leads to epilepsy, autism, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. The condition is rare and only effects a few thousand children in the US.
We at the Michael & Son Cares Program first came into contact with the disorder back in 2014 when we received a call from a family in Fredrick, Maryland who were in need of a new HVAC system. The Moore family’s twins, 1 year old Nico and Bebo, both suffered from the illnesses. Working with the Moore family gave us insight into not only the day to day difficulties of caring for a child with a rare disease but also the struggles faced by the family to provide their children with proper care.
Because they face so many challenges, the families of children with the SCN2A disorder stick together. Through the network FamiliesSCN2A, we were contacted by another family whose child suffered from the gene disorder. Like the Moore’s, the Schust family’s 5 year old son, Ben, carried the mutation and they too were in need of a new HVAC system.
Betty Parker had longed struggled with financial difficulties and when she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, Betty thought things could not get any worse. One cold fall morning as Betty was going about her normal, daily routine, she found there was no water coming out of her faucets. After a visit from a plumber, Betty learned her well pump had gone bad and the cost to repair it was more than she could afford. After months of living with no running water, Betty had lost all hope; until she discovered The Michael & Son Cares Program.
Want to find out what happened next? Click here to watch Helping Hands Episode 2. You can watch new Helping Hands episodes Saturdays at 7:00pm on NBC4. Also, check out the schedule below for upcoming air dates. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get updates on upcoming shows and watch full episodes of Helping Hands.
Helping Hands TV Series Schedule:
Saturday Feb. 25th 7:00 pm
Saturday Mar. 4th 7:00 pm