14-year-old boy is raising $1 million to save his sister

Odette Odendaal
Dec 28, 2018
10:40 P.M.

A 16-year-old girl’s younger brother joined the effort in trying to save his sister’s life by raising money for her treatment.


The Benson family, from Austin, Texas, have been supporting their daughter in her fight against a rare disease for the past ten years. Christiane suffers from Batten disease, and after years of raising awareness and trying to find a treatment, they finally have.

The possible treatment is costly, and the family is on a mission to raise $6 million along with the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation they founded, by the end of 2018. Charlotte, Christiane’s mum, said:


“We’re literally playing the clock for our daughter’s life. She’s 16, and the life expectancy is late teens, early 20s.”

Garland Benson, Christiane’s 13-year-old brother, decided to help and aim to raise $1 million himself. They share a tight bond, and to him, it's nothing extraordinary as he commented:

“Me and my sister are very close, and I felt if she were in my situation she’d probably do the same thing.”


In aid of his efforts, Garland put up flyers in stores and around town, he also set up a lemonade stand.

Word of Garland and his lemonade stand spread through social media after joining up with UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger, which brought a lot of attention to the situation with a social media campaign.

Happy to assist in the family’s efforts to help their daughter, his down to earth approach was evident as he said:

“To have leverage just because of what I do is truly special and I’d be wasting it if I wasn’t giving back.”


The youngster has raised an incredible $600.000 so far, and his campaign in getting 100,000 people to donate $10 each, to reach his goal is ongoing.

If you want to help, you can donate $10 by texting the word ‘Hero’ to 501501. You can also visit the website beahero.beyondbatten.org.


Young Garland’s lemonade stand is not the only one that helped with the raising of much-needed money. Six-year-old Malachi had the same idea when he felt it his civic duty to help raise money for officers’ families who recently died in service.

Malachi raised $2,000 for Southport Lt. Aaron Allan after he got killed in July 2017 while responding to a car crash. The second family he raised money for was for Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett’s after he got killed while in pursuit of a fleeing suspect in March 2018 and managed to raise $8,000 in their aid.


The actions of even a six-year-old can make all the difference in the world, and in the spirit of the holiday season, the story of Brandon Noblitt has to be shared.

On a Saturday in 2016 Brandon still played baseball with his dad, Brain. A week later his health deteriorated so quickly that he couldn't walk.

Brandon got diagnosed with a rare spinal cord disease called Acute Flaccid Myelitis. Young Brandon received a first of its kind groundbreaking surgery where a nerve transfer got performed by Dr. Amy Moore.


Now in 2018, Brandon is eight years old and able to walk and play with his friends again. A happy ending for the Boblitt family.

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