Greenbrier County teen to be among first in nation to receive gene therapy for Hurler’s Syndrome – WVVA TV

Posted: October 7, 2020 at 8:56 pm

ALDERSON, W.Va. (WVVA) A Greenbrier County teen is about to become one of the first five patients in history to receive an experimental gene therapy for Hurler's Syndrome.

The Alderson native is in many ways your typical 13-year-old. "I like to help my dad feed cows....and donkeys," said Kendra Goins.

But life hasn't always been easy for Kendra. The extremely rare condition makes it impossible for her body to breakdown certain sugars. In addition to causing damage to her organs, the condition makes it difficult for her body to grow.

But whenever anyone has anything to say about it, her sister, Kiristen is always the first time stand up.

"Me with my big head is always the one to jump in," said Goins, who said she has gotten into quite a few quarrels over the issue at school in defense of her sister.

She worries though that she won't be able to jump in when Kendra heads to California soon for a clinical trial. Kendra is heading into the treatment with her first bone marrow transplant nearing the end of its course.

"I've spoken with experts across the country from the chemists who made the drug to the doctor who has used it. This looks like her golden ticket," said Kendra's mother Sheryl Goins.

Administered through the brain, the goal of the gene therapy is to help her body produce the enzymes she needs to survive.

While the cost of the clinical trial and airfare is covered, the family said they need help with expenses they will incur during their three-month stay.

To learn more about how you can help, visit

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Greenbrier County teen to be among first in nation to receive gene therapy for Hurler's Syndrome - WVVA TV

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