We are coming together

Coming Together For a Cure works relentlessly to raise awareness, fund research, and help families around the world access stem cell therapy and resources that support their fight against rare diseases. We are driven to push for continued access to this innovation in medicine. We’re continuing to build strategic partnerships to advance resources to strengthen our global impact.

Our Why

Started as a grassroots fundraiser in 2008, after Ryan became the first person in the world with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to be successfully treated with mesenchymal stem cell therapy. Ryan wanted to start a fundraiser to help more people like him be able to access this life-changing therapy. Coming Together for a Cure was the name of the first fundraiser and we never could have imagined what it would turn into! 

Given there were no other organizations dedicated to raising awareness and educate on the benefits of stem cell therapy for DMD and other rare diseases. This is our why and we continue to realize the dire need for our role to enhance advocacy and education to help more families we relate to.

Our Mission

Advance stem cell therapy to become the Standard of Care for Duchenne and other rare, chronic and incurable diseases, while becoming the go-to resource for people seeking therapy.

Our Vision

Provide a renewed hope for people with Muscular Dystrophy and other life-threatening diseases by advancing support, education, and access to adult stem cell therapy.

Blake Benton Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Led by a Co-Founder and Executive Director, Blake Benton

Blake was only 15 when Ryan started receiving treatment. Since then, he’s made it his life’s mission to help more families like his have the opportunity to receive stem cell therapy.  

Blake is a graduate of Kansas State University, studying; Non-Profit Management, Marketing, and Management Information Systems. He founded CTFAC as an official 501 (c)3 registered public charity in 2014. Following his graduation in 2017, Blake returned home to be Ryan’s Primary Caregiver and has led CTFAC in a full-time capacity for the past five years.  

Blake goes beyond just being Ryan’s brother. He is well-educated on stem cell therapy and is committed to enhancing his experience in building relationships, developing cohorts, and managing teams with industry leaders, patients, parents, executives, and philanthropists worldwide. Blake is wholeheartedly devoted to advancing and fulfilling our mission.

Here’s the truth about DMD being a genetic disease: Blake tackles each day knowing he could have been the brother born with DMD and his life would be drastically different. Blake believes that everything happens for a reason and is an obsessed optimist, that said – his dream for other families like his is to embrace the path his brother has been fortunate to be on and help them take advantage of every available resource to help them live the lives they deserve.

Board of Directors

We are fortunate enough to have a leadership team filled with founding members who engage daily on all key activities and functions.

  • Josh Nicolay

    Josh Nicolay

    Recording Secretary

    Attorney at Law – Stull, Beverlin, Nicolay & Haas, LLC

  • Todd Wiedemann

    Todd Wiedemann

    Director of Education and Strategy

    Co-Director – Kansas MTSS and Alignment

  • Christie Benton

    Christie Benton

    Treasurer

    CEO – Synatec Neuro, Inc.

  • Chrissy Robben Corresponding Secretary

    Chrissy Robben

    Corresponding Secretary

    CEO – Hexcode Designs, LLC

Join Us

CTFAC is expanding and we are actively looking for people like you to join our team and Board of Directors. Discover how you can support our strategic growth and make a meaningful impact for thousands in need of our help.