The last few months, we have been working on a very special project: our 2018 holiday gift! If you have been following along, then you will know that we announced this back in October, and we were excited to share the final video last week. Learn more about the project and what is to come next!
After receiving a number of submissions from nonprofits, each incredible and deserving, we announced the recipient: All In For Ethan. This local nonprofit organization is helping support kids with the rare disorder GAN and fund critical research. When I say “local” I mean in-our-backyard local; they are based out of Riverside, IL. GAN affects less than 100 children worldwide, and we had the opportunity to work with one just 10 minutes down the road. It was our responsibility to tell his story.
Meet Ethan Tkalec, a 15-year-old sophomore at Riverside Brookfield High School. He likes creating videos for his YouTube channel, being with his friends at school, and wants a car for his 16th birthday. He may sound like a typical teenage boy, but, in reality, he is far from. Diagnosed with the rare condition Giant Axonal Neuropathy (GAN) at age 6, he has been on a difficult path that not many others endure. Despite this, his positive outlook and love for life is an inspiration to all he meets. His parents, John and Gelse Tkalec, founded the All In For Ethan charity in 2012 to help kids, like Ethan, across the world affected by GAN. Because of its rarity, continued research for GAN is needed, and the charity supports that as well.
To learn more, please watch the video here:
Gelse told us, “I just wanted to let you all know that it was a pleasure working with all of you and we are so grateful that you chose All In For Ethan to make the movie! Everyone who saw it really liked it and commented how professional it looked.”
John supported this and said, “We really appreciate you selecting us for this project. It was very enjoyable working with you and your professional staff. Your promotional video will definitely enhance our fundraising efforts.”
Reception to the video has been extremely positive, but it is near impossible to not be moved by such a compelling story told by the Tkalec family. Without them, none of this would be possible.
Their 6th Annual Rare But Not Forgotten…Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook. Dr. Steven Gray of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, a leading researcher in GAN, will be a guest speaker. And, most importantly, Ethan and his family will be there.
This project has been an eye-opening experience for our team; none of us had even heard of GAN before. And now, we are proud advocates for All In For Ethan. Working with Ethan, Gelse, and John was a gift in itself, and we hope that their new video will create more awareness of their mission and garner more support.