Members of the VacationMyrtleBeach.com resort family, Mr. and Mrs. John Wendell and Wendy Smith, recently lost their three year old daughter Jessica following a lifelong struggle with Alpers Disease, a rare degenerative mitochondrial disease. Unfortunately the Smith family learned early on that knowledge about Alpers Disease is sparse because of both the rarity of the disease and the difficulty of the diagnosis of the disease. Following Jessica’s courageous fight, John Wendell and Wendy dedicated themselves to help give more exposure to Alpers Disease and all other mitochondrial diseases to help improve the diagnosis and prognosis of these terrible diseases. John Wendell, Wendy and their son Tanner frequently traveled back and forth to Charleston, SC and The Medical University of South Carolina with Jessica for her treatments and their experience with the doctors and other staff was exceptional through this hard time. During that time the Smith Family had to go from end to end of Medical University of South Carolina to meet with the proper doctors and medical staff. The Smith family’s goal is to help create the Livi Center which will put all of the doctors, staff and other resources in one central location so that treatment of these mitochondrial diseases can be improved and made easier and more efficient for the children and their families.
The entire VacationMyrtleBeach.com resort family has rallied to support the Smith’s and will devote the entire summer to help them reach their goal. “All of us in the VacationMyrtleBeach.com resort group were deeply saddened at the loss of Jessica and we all want to support John Wendell and Wendy in any way that we can. When the opportunity arose for us to assist them in their mission to help create the Livi Center, we knew that we had to step up to help make that happen,” said Matt Klugman of VacationMyrtleBeach.com
During the months of June, July and August, the VacationMyrtleBeach.com resort group will be accepting guest donations to help create the Livi Center at MUSC, and at the end of the summer we will pool all of the donations and make a matching contribution to the center. We are all honored that we can help this mission in our own way.