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Uncategorized  - November 16, 2022
Matt Lockwood - AUTHOR

Brianna’s Brigade marches on

Since Darrick and Tiffany Reed of Olathe, Kansas received their daughter 9-year-old Brianna’s Kleefstra Syndrome diagnosis in early 2018, they have been taking steps to learn more about KS, connect with other KS families and raise money to help identify treatments.

In October, the Reed’s held their third annual Brianna’s Brigade, a fundraising walk benefitting IDefine. This year’s event raised more than $12,0000.

“Brianna’s Brigade is important to our family because it allows us to accomplish three important things through the event,” said Darrick. “First of all, it’s Brianna’s ‘Big Day’ where she feels special and can spend time with family, friends, teachers, therapists and all of those who are making such a positive impact on her life.

“Secondly, it provides an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ to those individuals who have invested so much into her life. And finally, it allows us to fundraise for the entire Kleefstra community and make an impact for all of those impacted by this condition, which is important to us.”

Brianna Reed

Each year, the Reed’s pick a different theme for the walk. This year’s Fall Festival event included pumpkin carving, cider, donuts, and a walk around a beautiful lake in a local park. Seventy people participated in the walk and carved 60 pumpkins.

“We received several comments about it being a positive, family-themed event that gives people something to look forward to each year,” said Darrick. “It’s continued to grow through word of mouth, and we were grateful to have many first-time participants this time around.”

The Reeds encourage other KS families to consider similar fundraisers.

“It’s actually a fairly simple process. IDefine will provide an event playbook and technology platform to distribute invites and details to your family and friends. We just have to find the local park and pick up any food or drink that we want to provide. It’s much easier than one would think.”

Those interested in holding a fundraiser, but unsure of where to begin are encouraged to reach out to IDefine at unlock@idefine.org.

In addition to raising money for a great cause, you can create a family tradition centered around your KS loved one, like Brianna’s Brigade.

“During the event, Brianna is all smiles and spends much of her time sharing hugs and laughs with family and friends. As she is not able to participate in traditional sports or other activities, it warms our heart to see her light up with joy on her special day.”