Winter, 2020 Update

Dear BHARE Foundation supporter,

While many people feel their lives are on hold, autism never takes a break.   Personally, the most frustrating part of this year is that research has suffered greatly.  How do I ask you for your support when I don’t have a specific project in mind?  The Microbiota Transfer Therapy study at ASU has been delayed many months and the SAT 2 trial that Dr. Naviaux thought would begin, has been pushed back 12-24 months.   

My son’s day program was closed for months.  While it did reopen, he still was unable to attend as he requires a 1:1 aid.  That adds to the number of people in the building, so those that can function in a 5:1 ratio are the ones that attend.   His caregiver did not come to our home for almost 2 months, which created a very difficult and stressful situation.  We decided the benefit of her returning was well worth the risk, as the stress was unbearable.

Our annual Tag Day events were all canceled and as a result we have had a very tough year raising funds.  Am I throwing in the towel?  Am I giving up on this work?  Never!  It took us more than three years to fund the MTT work at ASU and initially we did not know if we would even be supporting that project.  I ask for your help knowing that important work will be taking place in the future and we need to raise funds now for those projects yet to be known.  The “seed” money that we direct to early projects will be the catalyst for a treatment or cure.  It is critical that we continue to fund projects in the area of the GI tract and immune systems.  We know that GI problems occur in at least 42% and perhaps as many as 90% of people with  autism.  A recent study showed that 65% of people with autism age 2-18 had constipation, 29% had diarrhea, and 50% had stomach aches or pain.  Over 50% take medications for behaviors, yet only 7% were taking medication to help with constipation.

Study after study has shown that the GI tract is directly related to autism and yet the media hardly mentions it.  I was once asked, “What if I’m wrong? What if there is nothing there?”  My response was, “The question you should be asking is what if I’m right?  What if there is something there?  Something profound?  Isn’t that worth the risk to find out one way or another?”

While I don’t have the answer to the next promising project, I know one will appear soon enough.  Please help us be ready to fund it once it makes its presence known.  Those that succeed are prepared when opportunity arrives.  As always I thank you for your support.

Bram Hornstein

The BHARE Foundation