Skip to content

A “Rare Sisters” Fun Run

By Patte Smith; photos courtesy of the Gormley and Fries families

Rare Sisters Fun Run logo

Photo of Surrey Ridge Neighbors support Fun Run

Neighbors chatted with each other on Jeanne and John Gormley’s welcoming back porch after walking in the neighborhood to support their great-grandchildren.

A small group of Surrey Ridge friends joined together for a Rare Sisters Fun Run and barbecue on May 31. The hosts, Jeanne and John Gormley, raised their incredibly close-knit and devout family in the neighborhood where they have lived for 42 years.

In January 2018, two of the Gormley’s great-grandchildren, Cecilia and Lilly Fries, were diagnosed with Batten disease, a rare neurodegenerative disorder. There are no treatments, no cures, and very little research for the fatal disease.

Photo of the Fries family

The Fries family, from left to right, Cecilia, Lilly, Beth, Nora, Jon, Ruth and Zelie enjoyed being together at the Rare Sisters Fun Run in May.

Many family members and friends joined Cecilia, Lilly, Nora, Ruth, Zelie and parents, Beth and Jon Fries, for the Rare Sisters Fun Run in Westminster. The entire Gormley clan, 40 of them, is steadfast in supporting Cecilia and Lilly and their family.

Rare Sisters Fun Run proceeds will help raise funds for the Fries family to purchase a special van to accommodate both of the girls who will need wheelchairs.

For more information about Batten disease and the story of the Fries family, visit



Posted in


Recent Stories