Grilling cheese for a cure

Hot off the grill it’s a lunch time favorite. 

“The sandwiches have been delicious!” 

Grilled cheese was on the menu at a St. Thomas fundraiser Saturday and not just one type but 10 different options from local restaurants and businesses. 

“We’re all here for Ella. I know Shaine and his family. They’re wonderful people and god bless them and we’ll always come out and support,” John Turpin, Green Banana VI.

The classic sandwich just happens to be Ella’s favorite.

She was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome a severe lifelong neurological disorder.

It has symptoms like autism, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy and anxiety disorder all in one. 

It is almost exclusively in girls. 

Ella is nonverbal, unable to run or walk up steps without help, and can’t feed herself.

She needs 24 hour care and daily medication. 

But with research, a cure can be found. 

“The community in the Virgin Islands has always been great and our fundraising has always been 100% for a cure and I think people understand that. We don’t believe in non-profit fees or administrative costs everything that’s donated to Ella’s Hope a non-profit organization goes directly to funding research grants for a cure,” Shaine Gaspard, Ella’s Dad said.

Ella’s parents beleive that the research can change their daughters’ future. 

She’s been battling the disease since 8 months old.  

Ella’s now just five. 

“They’re working right now on human clinical trials with girls in the states and we’re very, very hopeful they’ll find a cure for Rett’s Syndrome. We’re just so glad that we have all of these people in the community that come out and support us and support Ella,” Lauren Gaspard, Ella’s Mom said.

With the Rising Stars supporting the event with music, kids cheering on their friend, and families offering a shoulder to lean on, Saturday showed that the entire community truly is behind this family.

“The big thing about it is he’s not only trying to find a cure for her. He knows that there are people that are being misdiagnosed and he wants to find a cure for them as well. And I think it is awesome and we’re all out here to support that and support their mission and just have a great time and have a great food fest,” Julius “The Chef” Jackson, a local celebrity chef said.  

Good grilling, good friends, all for a good cause.