Jean and her service dog Wendy

Our founder, Jean Walsh, was diagnosed with a rare disease, Friedreich's Ataxia (FA), in 1981. It was a scary and lonely time for Jean and her family. While, for Jean, working for a cure is important, finding healthy ways to live with FA is crucial. She likes to work for what she wants the world to be while finding ways to enjoy the world she is in. That's why she founded SparkHope. SparkHope is dedicated to helping people affected by rare disease find community that is focused on supporting each other in, not only making it through the day, months, and years until there is a cure, but in finding joy today.

For Jean, wanting a cure is in no way feeling less than others, it is simply a way to prevent her FA friends from dying.

Want to learn more about Jean and SparkHope? Email her!