Our Foundation is
guided and inspired by Ward.

our mission
W
orking to
A
dvance
R
are
D
isease
S
upport
in
order to
improve
the
lives
of people
affected
by rare
diseases.
what we do

WARD’S Foundation’s goal is to help these families

Individual diseases may be rare, yet in total they are more common than you think.

Educate

Individual diseases may be rare, yet in total they are more common than you think.

Unfortunately, 1 in 10 people in the US are affected by rare disease.

Support

WARD’S Foundation supports families and children throughout their journey of care.

Improve

Rare diseases affect 25 to 30 million Americans, half of them children.

30% of children with a rare disease won't live to see their fifth birthday.

upcoming event

A Rare Affair

A unique wine experience with access to rare varietals, vineyards, and vintages benefitting families facing rare diseases.

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From our Community

"When our rare disease journey began in 2020 - before WARD'S Foundation's inception - we were unable to find the right resources or support for our newborn son in Charlotte. After a stressful and lengthy stay in the NICU, followed by several unsuccessful attempts to secure a diagnosis, and the onset of a global pandemic, we decided to uproot our family and move over 500 miles north in search of better care at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. During our son's 9 month hospitalization, we learned the importance of specialized care for pediatric rare diseases and how necessary a multidisciplinary approach is for families to understand and cope with a complicated diagnosis. When we returned home to Charlotte, we also felt that we had missed out on some of the support of our home community that would have given us strength had we stayed home. By partnering with WARD'S Foundation, our hope is for families in Charlotte and the Carolinas to have access to that level of support right here at home by helping them minimize the inevitable stresses that accompany a rare disease diagnosis. We are comforted that our son's legacy can live on through the hope and guidance WARD'S provides to those families."

Nicole and John Grenier

"I am excited to play a part of something that is bigger than me and sorely needed for the patients near Charlotte. My drive for helping the complex care/rare disease population comes from my experiences with my late brother, Ricky.  Ricky was born with a rare congenital neuronal migration disorder called Schizencephaly and we learned quickly what it meant to be a fierce advocate for your family. Because of this, my brother and I grew up differently while dealing with some of his challenges. Life was different, but it was ridiculously fantastic & has helped shape me into the person (and nurse) I am today.”

Scott Alexander, BSN, RN,  Nurse Navigator
Ward Winslett Center for Complex and Rare Diseases

"WARD’S Foundation has given us an exceptional opportunity to develop a program tasked with supporting patients and their families as they navigate this landscape in their search for a diagnosis and to then bridge the gaps in care for children with complex medical needs.  It is this mission that has brought me here to Charlotte, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to be part of this team.”  

Elizabeth Scarlett, MD, Medical Director
Ward Winslett Center for Complex and Rare Diseases

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