One Family’s SANFILIPPO Story…

…but the reality for every family living with Sanfilippo Syndrome. Watch this video to learn why we exist, and why we need your help.

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Watch the video about one family's fight to cure Sanfilippo Syndrome

Meet Our Sanfilippo Kids and Their Families

Cure Sanfilippo is powered by families. Our success is for and because of them. Hear their stories and you’ll understand why we fight so hard to do what we do.

Our Fundraising Goal

Our goal is to raise $2,000,000 in 2020. But we need your help to get there.

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$53,000 raised
Fundraising goal for fight to cure Sanfilippo Syndrome
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Progressing research to cure Sanfilippo Syndrome

Curing Sanfilippo Syndrome is our ultimate goal, but we also want to influence the road to get there. With a 360-degree view, the Foundation funds extensive research into multiple avenues for a treatment/cure, as well as spearheads, supports, and funds initiatives that provide valuable, disease-specific and patient-preference information.

See What We’re Funding

Our Mission

To advocate for and fund research directed towards a cure and treatment options for patients with Sanfilippo Syndrome.

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What’s Happening

Artists bring to life inner superhero of children with Sanfilippo Syndrome

Artists bring to life inner superhero of children with Sanfilippo Syndrome

The children and their families who battle Sanfilippo Syndrome have superhero levels of resilience, strength, and courage.

The Superhero Project brings the superhero within children facing serious illness or disability to life through unique art pieces, and has recently captured the superheros that live inside several children with Sanfilippo Syndrome. 

Founded in 2016 by Lisa Kollins, The Superhero Project transforms children into superheroes through vibrant posters created by professional artists from around the world. The families are personally interviewed by one of The Superhero Project’s volunteer sidekicks and walked through a series of questions that explore the superhero that lives inside – how they make the world a better place, what they stand for, what tools they need, what they wear, and more. The information is shared with The Project’s professional animators, comic book artists, and graphic designers, who volunteer their time to turn the ideas into reality and create a fully-realized color image of each one-of-a-kind superhero. Each family receives an 11″ X 17″ poster, plus a digital copy. All at no cost to the families. 

“People often comment that the children, parents, and siblings facing Sanfilipo Syndrome are ‘superheros,’ so it’s incredibly moving to see that sentiment brought to life. And in a way that’s unique and specific to the personality and passions of each child,” said Glenn O’Neill, President of Cure Sanfilippo Foundation and father of Eliza. “These compassionate artists volunteer their talent and time to create superheros and super stories, which lifts the spirits of children with terminal illnesses and of the parents grasping onto HOPE.”

Recent illustrations bringing to life the inner superhero of children with Sanfilippo Syndrome:

Illustration of "Dragon Master Luke" by The Superhero ProjectThis adventurous and outgoing superhero has the best sidekick ever – Toothless! Dragon Master Luke soars through the skies, spreading joy wherever he goes. His special intuition shows him who most needs a loving hand to hold, and his magic shovel helps him scoop up happiness to share. They crayons, markers, and paintbrushes in his tool belt help him create beautiful images that inspire people. Of course, most inspiring is Dragon Master Luke himself and his buddy, Toothless. They have lots in common, from their giant smiles to their AFOs. You can’t miss this dynamic duo – giant silent fireworks (to make sure that even kids with sensitivity to noise aren’t bothered) accompany them along their paths. Inspired by Luke (age 7) and created by Miranda Pavelle

“It’s so incredibly beautiful, and so much Luke! Luke doesn’t have the biggest attention span, but when I showed him the poster, he just stared at it. He loves Toothless and his shovel so much, and I can only imagine what he thought when he saw himself drawn riding his favorite dragon, holding one of his favorite things.” – Luke’s parents

Illustration of "WILL Power" by The Superhero ProjectWith a smile that never quits and a heart that’s never met a stranger, Will Power is the newest superhero on the block! He inspires people to never give up and to be thankful for the blessings we have–big blessings like love and family, and little blessings like the perfect slice of peach pie. He runs with lightening speed wherever he’s needed and doesn’t let a locked door stop him. His magic keys give him the power to enter (or to escape!) any room in the universe. Will Power is happy to meet people, help them and make them smile–the world needs more superheroes with the power to connect people like he does! Inspired by W. (age 9) and created by Sarah Chalek.

“We are so grateful for the The Superhero Project and the artist for immortalizing our in-home hero and capturing his personality and energy so perfectly! Will was so excited to see himself as a hero!!!” Will’s parents

Illustration of "Forever Emly" by The Superhero ProjectForever Emily carries the power of the whirlwind, the beauty of nature’s branches and the spirit of the stars everywhere she goes. This heart warrior inspires all who meet her with her energy and loving soul – even if she can clear a shelf at Target in seconds, she’s a character you simply must adore. Forever Emily has a collection of water pails that she uses to summon whirlwinds that bring strength to the people around her. She stands for survival; running, climbing and jumping through the night in her sparkly sneakers, free to move and to live in love. Inspired by E. (age 8) and designed by Taryn Cozzy.


Illustration of "Super-J" by The Superhero ProjectThe newest superhero in town is sweet and lovable, but don’t be misled – he can destroy a room with his amazing energy in seconds! Super-J is here to remind the world how important friendship is. Protected by his shield and his big moon heart, he’s armed with everything people need to have fun – Uno, friendship bracelets, Goldfish crackers, and more. He flies from place to place with smoke trailing behind. (No flames – safety first!) With the confidence of Buzz Lightyear, the wackiness of Stitch, and a smile that lights up a room, Super-J is ready to grab your hand, make friends, and take you to infinity and beyond! Inspired by J (age 9) and created by his brother and sister. Designed by Eric Angel Pabon

Illustration of "Eliza The Inspirational" by The Superhero ProjectPerseverance and strength – that’s what this unique superhero so perfectly exemplifies. Eliza the Inspirational is as powerful and joyful as an Olympic swimmer, with energy to spare. Wearing her striped socks and water shoes, she relies on super-speed running to carry her across the ocean waves she commands with a flick of her wrist. Eliza dares to dream of what seems impossible: a world where every child is happy, healthy, strong and free. Perhaps she knows more than we do, since she sees the future with her magical headband, its aquamarine jewel glowing ethereally. She carries a satchel filled with water books that inspire people with their stories of strength and courage – her beautiful eyes and big smile inspire them too! Inspired by E. (age 9) and designed by Sarah Wilson.

Illustration of "Henry, The Happy Hammer" by The Superhero ProjectWhen life gives him lemons, this amazing superhero makes lemonade! Henry – The Happy Hammer zooms from place to place with his canine sidekicks Bailey and Carl hitching a ride. With his courage and strength, he protects his family from foes large and smile, and reminds them to look for the bright side of life. He has an amazing ability to be happy in almost every situation! With a smile as bright as the twinkly stars on his shirt and in the skies, Henry – The Happy Hammer will laugh his way right into your heart. Created by H. (age 5) and designed by Jen Davreux.
Sethy Man, illustration by The Superhero ProjectBringing joy, hope, and love to the world is Sethy Man, a new superheor with a big heart, a beautiful smile, and the best laugh you’ll ever hear. He soars above the clouds on his sidekick Bernoulli, wearing his signature purple suit and cape. Sethy Man carries his blue iPad and, with just a point of his finger, can make iPads appear in a pop of glitter for every child he encounters. These everlasting iPads (no dead batteries ever!) are loaded with everyone’s favorite Disney movies that are guaranteed to make people happy. Sethy Man’s laid-back and chill personality puts everyone at ease and, for thsoe who need some extra comfort, he simply holds their hands. He just loves making people smile. Inspired by Seth, age 8, and designed by Miranda Pavelle.
Super Rylan
Super Rylan, The Superhero Project illustrationAs sweet as a country love song and as tough as an all-weather ATV, Super Rylan uses the power of music to bring hope and joy to everyone he meets. From the tips of his Ariat boots to the top of his cowboy hat, he lights up the world with his unconditional love. His guitar plays tunes without strumming and his magic iPhone lets people watch YouTube music videos of their favorite songs on command. Once you meet Super Rylan (Goo to his family and friends), you’ll never listen to country music without thinking of him – and without smiling – again! Inspired by Rylan (age 9) and designed by Haley Pak.

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Meglio Knives donating 10% of premium knives to benefit Sanfilippo

Meglio Knives donating 10% of premium knives to benefit Sanfilippo

Meglio Knives in San Diego, CA, is known for making the best culinary, chef, utility, paring, and tactical knives from military-grade materials. These premium knives are used by some of the best chefs in the world, as well as home cooks who want an exceptional experience with flair and innovation.

CEO and Founder Brandon Hampton has decided to use their quality knives to make an impact in the Sanfilippo community. He is donating 10% of EVERY KNIFE that is sold in the next run of its preorder 10-inch chef knives to Cure Sanfilippo Foundation.

“As a parent, it’s really tough seeing what they have to go through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. And I’m excited to be a part of trying to make these parents and kids’ lives better,” said Brandon in his Facebook video announcing this special run of knives.

Knives are now available for pre-order and orders will likely ship by the end of April. There’s no limit to the number that will be sold benefiting the Foundation.
All of Meglio’s materials are American made. All of its vendors are located in America. And all of the labor is done in America.

Meglio Knives has done promotions to benefit others in need previously. However, Cure Sanfilippo Foundation is the first charitable organization the knife maker has chosen to benefit. 

“We are very honored to have Brandon and Meglio Knives support the fight to cure Sanfilippo Syndrome,” said Glenn O’Neill, President of Cure Sanfilippo Foundation. “These exceptional knives will last for generations, as will their impact in helping accelerate research to cure Sanfilippo Syndrome. A cure is even closer because of Meglio Knives and its customers.”

Before beginning Meglio Knives, Brandon worked with the mother of Emmy, who has Sanfilippo Syndrome. Their families have remained friends, and that friendship inspired Brandon to find a way to help.

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Foundation sets ambitious plan for next three years: 5 clinical trials, 100 children

Foundation sets ambitious plan for next three years: 5 clinical trials, 100 children

Cure Sanfilippo Foundation has an ambitious plan for the next three years:

5 clinical trials, treating 100 children, to prove at least 1 effective treatment

Amazing things have happened in the six years since the Foundation was created because of the generosity of tens of thousands of people and the hard work of families and friends of children with Sanfilippo around the world. 

So much progress toward a cure has been made. But there still isn’t an approved treatment or cure at this time. Yet.

We have an ambitious plan to bring more clinical trials to children in the next three years. AND YOU CAN HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN.

The Three-Year Plan:

By driving the pace of science, we will find a cure in this lifetime.

The remarkable support, progress, and need inspired the Foundation to create an audacious plan for the next three years. Because the supporters and families have proven that achieving bold goals is possible.

Clinical trials are where the rubber meets the road, scientifically. It’s the crucial step of determining
whether earlier research is able to show the same therapeutic benefits in people.

Three-Year Plan - Element - Image Three-Year Plan - Element - Image Three-Year Plan - Element - Image

There are no shortcuts in science.

A cure requires significant resources. The daring price tag for this initiative is $10 million.

It’s a big goal. But it can happen with support.

Despite these dramatic costs, Cure Sanfilippo Foundation is finding
innovative and collaborative ways to support and conduct clinical trials, as
well as research.

These strategies make your donations go further. It makes $10 million help even more children, and with an effective treatment, potentially thousands.

The Future You Give Back

With a cure, families like these can dream of the future again.

The Burroughs Family The O'Neill Family

How You Can Help

Your support, now and tomorrow, gives children the chance at life.

Every donation is deeply appreciated. And a multi-year commitment ensure the Foundation can achieve this plan to bring about these clinical trials in three years.

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About the Foundation

Cure Sanfilippo Foundation leads in driving research to accelerate discovery of a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome.
In just six years, generous donors like you have enabled Cure Sanfilippo to generate more than $8 million through grassroots and viral fundraising to support and/or architect 20+ research projects globally, including several clinical trials.
The Foundation’s exceptional thought-leadership enables us to chart a progressive course to find a cure.

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Sanfilippo girl coronated as Princess Rose, fulfilling her wish

Sanfilippo girl coronated as Princess Rose, fulfilling her wish

Rose Mendoza, coronation 2020 Tournament of RosesRose Mendoza has always loved princesses, especially the part where you wave regally to your subjects.

Rose also has Sanfilippo Syndrome, a terminal children’s disease likened to Alzheimer’s in children.

Volunteer members of the Tournament of Roses volunteer and the 2020 Royal Court worked with Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles to fulfill Rose’s dream of being a princess, complete with a magical royal coronation. 

The wish-made-real had several special moments for Rose and her family. 

In late October, Rose was crowned “Princess for the Day” and enjoyed a day of delights. 

As described by Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles … “On a gorgeous, sunny day in Pasadena this October, the community came out in droves for the coronation of Princess Rose. She was welcomed by the Royal Court, including Rose Queen Camille who gave her a royal makeover, complete with custom princess dresses for Rose and her sister. Then Rose was showered with Frozen-themed princess gifts (her favorite!) before she was whisked off to a tea party complete with rose-infused tea from the famed Langham Hotel and all the sweet treats she could eat. The sound of trumpets beckoned her to the front stairs of the historic Tournament House, where she was surprised to find hundreds of well-wishers who came out with signs to cheer her on. Here she was fitted with her new crown and coronated as Princess Rose of Pasadena. A Pasadena Police Officer even served as her Prince Charming and escorted her to a horse-drawn carriage, which drove her around the kingdom of Pasadena. Rose squealed in excitement the entire day and sang along to her favorite songs while waving to her royal subjects.”

The coronation was featured in The Pasadena Star:

Suffering from ‘childhood Alzheimer’s,’ this Covina 6-year-old became a Rose Princess for a day

In addition to the amazing coronation, Rose rode in the La Puenta Holiday Parade in a vintage sports car and the Covina and Glendora Christmas Parades. Proudly wearing her tiara and sash, of course.

Rose Mendoza in local 2019 holiday parade

On Jan. 1 of the New Year, Rose and her family enjoyed front-row seats at the 2020 Rose Parade. Rose and her family delighted at seeing the marching bands, flower-covered floats, and performers up close. She especially enjoyed the float depicting the parade’s theme of “The Power of Hope.”

Rose Mendoza at 2020 Rose Parade

Rose Mendoza at 2020 Rose Parade

This special honor recently sparked a conversation about wishes between Rose’s big sister and mom Muna, which she shared as a letter to Rose on Facebook:

“Your sister asked me the other day what my ‘make-a-wish’ would be. Well, I didn’t tell her because I thought I’d be too much for 7-year-old heart to take. My wish would be for a cure for this cruel disease. A cure not only for you, but for every kiddo, every family suffering watching their child die right now! It might not have been to much for your sister because she said, ‘I’d wish for a time machine to go into the future get the cure for Sanfilippo and bring it back.’ She knows that a cure will come one day. Rose, you have a whole community around you advocating and praying that future cure comes soon. No matter what the future holds, you will always be our Princess. I know no matter how your life goes, you’ll always be rocking on. We love you more than we could ever say.”

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Cure Sanfilippo Foundation

501c3 non-profit
(Tax ID: 46-4322131)

P.O. Box 6901
Columbia, SC 29260