Fighting Genetic Illnesses with Cutting-Edge Research and Compassion

Learn more about the Clinic & what we do

New Building Project Construction Updates

Welcome to the Clinic for Special Children's new building project updates page! We will be posting construction...

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Register today! | Clinic for Special Children 5k

REGISTER TODAY! Join us for the 6th annual Clinic for Special Children 5k on Saturday, September 16th...

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Enjoy our 2023 Spring Newsletter!

The special edition of our Spring 2023 newsletter is here! Our Keeping the Promise: Building Hope capital...

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There is a way to use the power of genetic knowledge
and biochemical knowledge to predict and prevent disabilities in children. And I've devoted my life to that idea.
Dr. Kevin A. Strauss, Medical Director

A Comprehensive Medical Practice That Makes a Real Difference

Our clinic serves as a trusted medical practice for Amish and Mennonite families working to prevent and treat genetic illness. The sturdy, timber-framed building was “raised” by the hands of those in the Anabaptist community it serves just outside of Strasburg, PA. Inside, it is filled with an array of high-tech gene sequencing tools that allow us to deliver highly personalized care—a precise treatment option for the right patient at the right time.

Learn more about the Clinic’s mission

Patient Story

The Wenger Family

If Alayna Wenger had been born 30 years ago, before the Clinic began, she probably would not have survived beyond her first birthday. But according to her parents, Lucinda and Lydell Wenger, she is now “a very normal, very active toddler.”

Alayna was born with the genetic change that can cause Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1, a genetic disorder that causes muscles to become increasingly weak. Her condition was detected by newborn screening, the blood test given to every baby born in Pennsylvania. The Wengers’ midwife notified them of the results when Alayna was 11 days old; Clinic staff met with them that afternoon.

“We learned a lot at that first appointment,” remembers Lucinda, “especially how much they cared.”

A few days later, Alayna received gene replacement therapy at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, one of the Clinic’s collaborators. An intravenous infusion gave Alayna’s cells a working copy of the faulty gene. According to the Clinic’s Dr. Vincent Carson, Alayna’s physician, “This is one of the most dramatic treatments we can provide. It’s almost miraculous.”

Alayna is also receiving a second drug therapy. “We still don’t know what a normal treatment plan is for her,” says Dr. Carson, “so we’re doing research and clinical care simultaneously. It’s patient-centered research. We make a decision with the family and then study it.”

With years of Clinic visits ahead for their family, Lucinda and Lydell like the idea of the new facility off Old Philadelphia Pike. “It’s well thought-out,” notes Lydell.

In the meantime, the incredible advancements in diagnosis and treatment that the Clinic has helped pioneer will enable Alayna to live and grow almost normally. As Lydell says, “If you didn’t know it, you wouldn’t notice it.”

Help us to continue to provide patients with timely, affordable and effective care!

Our clinic serves as a trusted medical home for families working to prevent and treat genetic illness in their children. Serving predominantly Amish and Mennonite families, the sturdy, timber-framed building was "raised" by the hands of those in the Anabaptist community outside of Strasburg, PA. Inside the clinic is filled with an array of high-tech gene sequencing that allows us to deliver state of the art care in a nurturing environment.

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