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Teen on a mission to raise money for the sister's illness



Garland Benson is a small man with a big mission. "We're trying to raise $ 6 million in 24 months," he said.

The 14-year-old from Austin, Texas, is trying to help save his big sister Christiane.

"My sister has a rare and deadly disease called Batten's disease," he said.

Christiane, 16, was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 5. The rare neurological disorder affects brain function and can lead to blindness and seizures. There is no cure and only experimental treatments that could slow the disease down.

The family established a foundation to raise $ 6 million to cover the cost of starting a clinical trial and testing two potential drugs. Garland promised to raise the last million alone.

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BeyondBatten.org


He's almost there – less than $ 150,000 more.

"My plan was to get 100,000 people to give $ 10 each," Garland said.

So he turned to social media and asked everyone, from college athlete to jewelry designer Kendra Scott . He also organized fundraisers and sold lemonade.

"I think he almost became a big brother," said his father Craig Benson.

The Bensons do not say "if", but "when" the goal is achieved, the reward is a new hope for their daughter.

"When we think about the moment when we could actually begin treatment for them and all of them together in the room and especially Garland is a significant part of it – for all of us it is a very special moment for sure "Craig said.

A moment in the millions and a priceless payout.

For more information on the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, see beyondbatten.org .

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