Meet the Founders
Click on each picture for a founder's bio
Because we lived through it alone, MAGIC was born!
Say for example...you take your child to the doctor because he just doesn’t seem to be growing like the other kids their age. Your instincts nag at you, something is not right. You share your concerns with the doctor over and over. You wait, hoping for catch up growth...but it never happens. You tell yourself, that the poor growth is because he is a picky eater or grandma was small so maybe he is taking after her. But the worry continues. You try to push your concerns away until finally, you snap and insist on some kind of tests to make sure that he is ok....
The doctor agrees and orders some basic lab work and an x-ray of his hand...and within days- you find yourself shocked as you hear, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I believe your son has a medical condition called (for example) Growth Hormone Deficiency. This is a rare disorder. And frankly I've never had another patient with this, so I’d like for him to see a specialist.”
Then after weeks and even months...there is a diagnosis that you have never heard of...So as a parent what do you do?
Well I’ll tell you what we did....We went into parental protection overdrive! All senses were on high alert....panic, fear and confusion. Thankfully we found each other. Those of us who started MAGIC all had children with Growth Hormone Deficiency. Three of us were from Illinois, one from California and the other from Oklahoma. We had our phones going full time sharing details about our children’s medical treatments. We were our own self-made support group. Each of us studied, researched, and contacted everyone we could. Little did we realize that our daily calls were the beginning of what would, one year later, become The MAGIC Foundation.
We were legally incorporated October 29, 1989 in the state of Illinois. And recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the IRS. The humble "early days" forged the path of what is now recognized as:
The world's largest organization for growth related disorders
Two years after MAGIC was born, one of the Founders was given a jolt. A second child in her family was diagnosed with a different/rare growth disorder (McCune Albright Syndrome). She called her MAGIC friend. One and a half hours later, she was talking to another mother of a child with MAS. This was amazing because at that time, there were less than 2 dozen known cases (by the National Institutes of Health) anywhere in the country. MAGIC’s system proved itself and now worked outside the box!
Not long after MAGIC was started, we began getting calls from the department heads of major hospitals, nationally acclaimed universities and numerous others, all requesting help for families with children whose diagnoses affected their growth but were not affected by Growth Hormone. This posed an important challenge. How do you sustain a quality “personal” organization on such a large scale? And after a great deal of research into the best possible methods, MAGIC segmented into divisions. Growth Hormone Deficiency for Children was first, followed by McCune-Albright Syndrome.
Today, MAGIC has 11 primary Divisions, and Networks for additional medical conditions. Each Division/Network is headed by a parent (or affected adult for our adult groups). These consultants offer a personal focus and meaningful support to the unique needs of each family.
Never faltering in strength nor vision, MAGIC conducted the world’s first National Educational Convention in 1995. For most people, it was their first opportunity to meet and socialize with families of similar disorders. It was also the first time these incredible children had to meet other kids just like them. Friendships formed instantly and the convention became an annual event. Today, families attend from around the world.
The Business of MAGIC
MAGIC is headquartered in Oak Park, Illinois and employs a full time staff of a mere 7 people. Glued together by dedicated volunteers and a network of family division consultants, this hard working group annually responds to an excess of 11,700 phone calls, 20,000 materials requests, organized two national educational programs and other support services the Foundation offers. Our database is one of the world's most comprehensive of its kind and includes (among other things) a worldwide networking system with more than 11,000 families listed.
MAGIC is guided by personal experience. We know that it’s crucial for people everywhere to have support. Therefore, we incorporate websites, BLOGS, online social groups, and many various venues for people to access medical information and support services.
Adults have these conditions too!
Several years ago, news about the success of MAGIC spread to affected adults. And once again, The Foundation received a high demand to implement Adult Divisions. Today, our Adult division offers a separate quarterly newsletter, networking specifically for adults, online chat areas, and a National Educational Convention tailored for them. Together, the adults not only find solace in meeting each other, but they enjoy mentoring the kids! They give hope to everyone!
In the Future
We dream of having information about the importance of monitoring children's growth so well embeded that children are diagnosed early enough to make a lifelong change in the quality of their lives. Ideally, we would love to see clinics dedicated specifically to the early identification and treatment of growth related disorders throughout the world, where research is conducted and no person goes without medical treatments.
We see possibilities in our dreams, and we work till we sleep!
Children have a short time to grow and a lifetime to live with those results ®