Plot Twist — Valerie Tharp Byers

A banner for Valerie's column, depicting blue and purple swirls dancing across a night sky.

Valerie Tharp Byers, EdD, is an education researcher living in Spring, Texas with her husband, Tim, and children, Will and Samantha. Valerie became a rare disease advocate in 2015 following Will’s diagnosis of Sanfilippo syndrome, a degenerative and fatal genetic disorder. Valerie is also a board member of the Cure Sanfilippo Foundation, where she works to raise the public profile of Sanfilippo syndrome to support research and clinical trials.