Tessa before July 8, 2011

Tessa before July 8, 2011

Fundraising Goal: $100,000.00

Total Number of Gifts: 91
Total Value of Gifts: $10,525.00

Recent Donors

Gail Fong

Sandra Mory

Emi and Brian Tuvey

Deirdre Lehman

Mrs. Brigid Moreton

Alicia Sanford Nasrallah and Doris Sanford

Kathryn and Stephen Cusick

Conrad and Leslie Hauser

Gary and Kathleen Oing

Virginia and Paul Brobst

Full Donor List Opens new window.Full Donor List

My name is Teresa Gallo, and my child is named Tessa. Prior to July 8, 2011, Tessa was a happy and healthy little girl. Then, overnight, she stopped sleeping, lost her ability to communicate, complete basic tasks, or take care of herself.

For 10 months she was in and out of psychiatric facilities all over Northern California being treated for Bipolar Disorder. We were on a waiting list to see Dr. Kiki Chang at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for 6 months. When we finally were able to meet with Dr. Chang, he knew within 20 minutes that this was not Bipolar, but an autoimmune disease. Around the time of Tessa’s diagnosis, Dr. Chang and Dr. Frankovich at Packard Children’s opened up a Clinic to help children who have Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) or other forms of autoimmune diseases that attack the brain.

Today Tessa is now at about 85%-90% back. She is living at home and attending our local high school. She still has flares that are very scary to watch, but her doctors are working hard to find the right mix of medication to keep her stable.

Currently the PANS Clinic has a nine-and-a-half-month waiting list for new patients. The clinic needs additional funding to expand research and improve care for children with PANS. Please donate what you can and ask your companies if they will match your donation. 100% of donations made through this page will directly support the PANS Clinic at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

Thank you so much.

To learn more about Tessa's story, please visit:
San Jose Mercury News

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford provides accurate diagnosis, proper treatment and family support to make a profound difference for children with PANS and PANDAS.

For more information please visit:

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PANS dad
Sun, Apr 27, 2014
Try HDAC inhibitors like sodium butyrate and a proven serotonin-producer like Bifidobacterium infantis to treat the immune dysregulation (shifting tryptophan from the kynurenine pathway back to melatonin/serotonin synthesis) and trehalose, melatonin, and mTOR inhibitors to treat the disrupted autophagy. It's no cure, but man, does it help. Also B6 and magnesium to reduce tics.

Eileen Fernandes
Sat, Apr 26, 2014
My heart goes out to the Gallo family. I believe Tessa's story will help many other families. Continued recovery and thank you for your magnificent courage. I want to be part of this search for more understanding of brain illnesses.

aldo gonzalez
Thu, Apr 24, 2014
thank you and thank god there are people like you

Joseph L. Creasy
Thu, Apr 24, 2014
I just read about Tessa's condition, and this is the first I have heard of PANS. I wish the best for all who are involved in the efforts for the research and treatment and ultimately cure of PANS.
May God bless.

Adrienne Garriepy
Thu, Apr 24, 2014
I am praying for Tessa and others like her. I suffer from what is termed bipolar disease and am hopeful that doctors will some day find a neurological physical cause for this illness which is treatable with more than that terrible Haldol when episodes arise. I still think a virus is the cause of my onset and either brain damage or continued uprising of the virus in my system is the cause of this thing.
I am a biologist myself and only wish I could get the funding to do research on this thing but know I wouldn't be able to do so as a mentally ill candidate for the grant funds.
Drs. Frankovich and Chang, PLEASE Keep up your diligent research and hard work on this for those of us who suffer with mental illness. Some day you will be labelled as pioneers in the field!!

Angela Shelton
Wed, Apr 23, 2014
I am so grateful you are getting the message out to others! I am happy Tessa is doing much better and wish her a full recovery soon!
My son had a minor episode of PANS that presented as OCD and sleep apnea symptoms - overnight. Fortunately, he was properly and quickly diagnosed through our pediatrician and treated with antibiotics which cleared the symptoms completely.
God Bless your family, donors, and, of course, the doctors/staff dedicating time, talents and energy to persevere this frontier!

Denise Cauley
Wed, Apr 23, 2014
I am thrilled that you are organizing to reach out and help children with this devastating illness. There are more of us out here than you know. My son is now a regular college freshman, but he lived through horrific psychotic hell between the ages of 10 and 13. We struggled and searched in vain to try to find help for his sudden onset symptoms. We happened upon a wonderful man, Dr. David Band, who took seriously our situation and diagnosed my son with PANDAS. He tested positive for strep in both blood and throat culture...even though he had had absolutely no cold-like symptoms. This syndrome is REAL. Our prayers go out to everyone who is suffering and struggling to find answers, and to those wonderful people who are educating the public and studying diagnosis and treatment options.

Bob Stubblefield
Wed, Apr 23, 2014
As the parent of a child fighting a currently incurable kidney disease (Nephrotic Syndrome), Tessa's story touched me. My son has treated with multiple different medications to attempt to control his relapses and the one that has worked the best is Rituximab. I am happy to hear it has helped Tessa. Sounds like the general medical community needs to open their collective minds a bit. Good luck to you.

Tennille Fondren
Wed, Apr 23, 2014
I pray you get the funding you need! My son has PANDAS/PANS. He was diagnosed in 2009 and successfully treated with ivig. In 2011 he lost the ability to walk for 11 months during a flare. It was a struggle we had to find a new doctor to treat him. He gets 100% better between episodes. He is 14 now and still struggles with his PANS when he gets an infection but the sooner its caught the better off he is. Its frustrating being as a mother and a nurse that there isn't more help for our children. I pray that the medical community catches up very soon!

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