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Woman’s search for cure continues

Mother's love: Chris Gaines of Jemison is pictured with his mother, Becky Lucas.

A Jemison woman’s tireless effort to support research for Batten disease will continue next Saturday, Sept. 18 with the Ninth Annual Batten Disease Golf Tournament.

Becky Lucas helped start the annual fundraiser because her son, Chris Gaines, suffers from the rare brain deteriorating disease. At the age of 13, Gaines, now 35, was given only two years to live but has beaten the odds.

Although Gaines is alive, he requires constant care and supervision. Lucas is dedicated to helping find a cure.

“He is 35 years old but has the mental capacity of less than a 6-month old,” Lucas said. He has seizures and has to be totally taken care of. He can do nothing for himself. It’s very, very heartbreaking to watch your son slowly dying, and there is nothing I can do to stop it.”

The golf tournament will be Sept. 18 at Lakeview Golf Retreat in Bibb County. The retreat is located off Bibb County Road 65, which turns right off of Alabama Highway 25 out from Wilton.

The format is a two-person scramble, and tee time will be 8 a.m. sharp. Those who are interested are asked to register as soon as possible because there is a 22-team limit. As of Tuesday, there were six team slots left. Sign-ups will begin about 30 minutes prior to tee time.

The cost is $100 per team, which includes two mulligans per player and lunch. There will also be a longest drive contest and a closest to the pin contest, as well as door prizes.

Three flights will be awarded, and first, second and third place will be recognized in each flight.

Lucas has set the sponsorships goal at $3,500. It costs $50 to sponsor one hole.

For more information, call Lucas at (205) 668-0812 or (205) 296-6625, or Tony Cochran at (334) 366-4018. For more information about Batten disease, visit bdsra.org.

“There were 19 new families at the conference this year who have recently been told their child has Batten disease,” Lucas said. “I pray every day no one will ever have to hear that news again. Let’s show them what us Alabama folks can do to fight this awful disease.”