Parent advocate honorees John and Laurian Scott accepted an award established in their name this past Saturday night at A Heroes Dinner in Los Angeles. Hosted by the Child Neurology Foundation (CNF), the benefit recognized the couple for their extraordinary contribution to child neurology in trailblazing the path of discovery to a rare gene for neuromuscular genetic killer Brown-Vialetto-Van-Laere (BVVL), a disease that took the lives of their two young children, Thisbe and Noah. Proceeds from the event will support CNF’s mission to ensure optimal care for all children living with a neurological disease, as well as the establishment of a Foundation Award, offering early support to a rising star committed to research—etiology, treatment, health care policy—in childhood neurological disease. Guests Don and Linda Bailey from A Little Help Foundation, pledged a multi-year grant to CNF for 100K per year for the next five years in support of the foundation’s ongoing work.
More than 200 guests turned out at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills to enjoy cocktails, a silent auction, four-course dinner and exceptional performance by guitar virtuoso Billy McLaughlin. Speakers for the evening included famed child neurologists Dr. W. Donald Shields (CNF Board President) and Dr. Kenneth Swaiman (CNF Founder), UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program Director Dr. Chris Giza, and behavioral child neurologist Dr. Shafali Spurling Jeste from UCLA’s Semel Institute. Acting Executive Director of CNF, Amy Brin Miller, presented the “Hero of Promise Award” to the Scotts with their daughter Aslan Williams also on stage. The video tribute to the Scotts and the couple’s heartfelt acceptance speeches added much to an already inspirational evening. Friend of the Scott family, actress Wendie Malick from hit series Hot in Cleveland made use of her fine wit and excellent comedic timing as emcee of the evening’s festivities.
A Heroes Dinner was generously supported by Eisai, Inc, The Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation, Division of Pediatric Neurology at Mattel Children’s Hospital and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals: Autoimmune and Rare Diseases Business, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.