gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 14

The Dream of a Cure
Johnathan’s Dreams
Written By Kimberly Ewertz

Even a super hero needs reinforce-
ments in the fight against evil, and
12-year-old Johnathan Spencer
of Gilroy, a real life super hero, receives
continued support from the entire South
County community in his battle against
Niemann Picks Disease Type C, (NPC). A
disease with no known cure.
That support began in July 2010 at
Fortino Winery with the first Johnathan’s
Dreams, a fundraising event held for
Johnathan. The event took place four
months after his mother, Rebecca Spencer
White, received her son’s diagnosis—a day
she will never forget.
“It was March 9th , I was working over-
nights and I was asleep, and I got a phone
call from the doctor. She said ‘I’m so sorry,
he has Niemann Picks Type C.’ I just
remember screaming,” Rebecca said.
The annual event, which recently took
place on July 14, is nine years strong,
and continues to raise funds for research
of the rare disease that occurs once in
approximately every 120,000 births.
Keith Spencer, Johnathan’s father, says
his son “is a normal 12-year-old, with a
super hero attitude.” The couple credit
their friends, Adam and Chenine Jones,
with the success of the annual event.
“It all came from one guy and his wife
that decided if they couldn’t do anything
to cure the disease, we were going to find
a cure,” Rebecca said.
“That first year we raised twenty
thousand dollars.”
NPC, a genetically-inherited disease,
affects the body’s ability to metabolize
cholesterol and lipids within cells, which