Father Joins with Sanford Researcher Hoping to Save His Daughter’s Life
Dan Brendtro is on a mission to save his daughter's life.
Reana Brendtro, now 16 and a student at Lincoln High School, was diagnosed with Friedreick's Ataxia when she was 11. There's no cure but that hasn't stopped Dan from trying to find one.
The Sioux Falls lawyer dove into research when Reana was diagnosed, as most fathers would. Through a series of coincidences, Dan met Peter Vitiello, a researcher with Sanford Health who had in the past worked on FA.
You can listen to their story in this interview from the Patrick Lalley Show on Dec. 1.
The pair decided to restart a dormant research project into FA. But first they needed money. So they set out to find $75,000, enough to fund the project in Vitiello's lab at Sanford Research, including a crowd sourcing page The Finish Line.
The reaction has been tremendous.
As of today -- Dec. 8 -- the effort has topped $40,000 with 17 days remaining.
Here's how Dan explains Friedreick's: "In simplest terms, FA is a genetically-linked protein deficiency that attacks nerve and heart cells. Typically, FA patients will require a wheelchair before high school graduation, and suffer from teenage-onset heart disease. Mortality often occurs in their 20’s."
It's a story full of happenstance, science, inspiration and hope.
Just imagine if Dan Brendtro succeeds in his mission.