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 since.  

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.

  • Todd Wiedemann

    Todd Wiedemann

    Board President

    Co-Director – Kansas MTSS and Alignment

  • Christie Benton

    Christie Benton


    CEO – Synatec Neuro, Inc.

  • Josh Nicolay


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

  • Chrissy Robben Corresponding Secretary

    Chrissy Robben


    CEO – Hexcode Designs, LLC

  • Lucas Dudgeon

    Vice President/Secretary

    Strategic Account Executive – Virgin Pulse

  • Logan Woodbridge


    AVP Business Banker – Sunflower Bank

  • Lacie Leatherman

    Lacie Leatherman


    Owner – LML Ventures

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.

Board of Advisors

  • Chad Clark

    Chad Clark

    Fmr Director – Planned Giving

    Wichita State University Foundation

  • Jason Ladner

    Jason Ladner

    Business Development Executive

    Blue Cross & Blue Shield of KS

  • Dennis Mullin

    Dennis Mullin

    Fmr Chairman – KS Board of Regents &

    Chairman SPS Companies

  • Diane Heyman

    Fmr Chief People Officer

    ALSAC St Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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.