Have you heard of SliceFest? It began in 2012 as the anniversary celebration of Slice Pizza & Brewhouse, and it’s grown into an annual music festival encompassing Birmingham’s thriving Lakeview District. Sarah Katherine “Suki” Bateh is one local child facing the neurological effects of Rett Syndrome. Through her namesake SUKI Foundation, many more children now have hope. Two Birmingham stories about community and growth—perhaps they were meant to go together.
Eat local. Drink local. GIVE LOCAL at SliceFest in Birmingham on June 16
Proceeds from the seventh annual SliceFest on June 16, 2018, benefit SUKI Foundation, a Birmingham not-for-profit housed in Children’s of Alabama. The foundation funds Rett Syndrome research and helps families of children with the condition receive early detection, intervention, support, education and therapeutic services. Get your tickets to SliceFest to enjoy good tunes, local eats and local brews while supporting an even greater local cause.
Since its founding, SliceFest has donated over $70,000 to Birmingham-based nonprofits, including including Suki Foundation.
This year’s SliceFest lineup touts musical performances by Big Gigantic, The Original Wailers, Big Something, Too Many Zooz, The Vegabonds and Luthi. You can also catch the local bands Tragic City, Will Stewart, Riverbend, The Brook & The Bluff, Mutton Chops, Rug Monkey, Legal Limit and Purdy.
SliceFest tickets, kid perks and parking
Children 12 and under get into SliceFest for free. From noon until 4 p.m., a SliceFest Kids Zone will host bouncy houses, face painting and a dough toss.
SliceFest takes place on 29th Street between Seventh Avenue South and Clairmont Avenue in Birmingham. The Slice parking lot and the lots behind it will be closed. Parking along 29th Street South in Lakeview is encouraged. Get more festival facts here.
Rett Syndrome affects 1 in every 10,000 female births worldwide
At first, Marie and Brian Bateh had no reason to suspect anything was wrong with their new baby girl, the fourth of five daughters. Then everything changed for the Birmingham family.
“When she was 10 months I started to have some concerns about her. She didn’t roll over. She didn’t meet many of her milestones. Everything she did, we worked really hard to get her to do, unlike the other girls, so I knew something was really wrong,” Marie said.
The Batehs began researching online and noticed Suki had every symptom of Rett Syndrome. A medical diagnosis confirmed their fears. Worse still, after the initial development plateau, the regression of skills began. First, Rett Syndrome claimed the function of her hands. Next, it affected her breathing and ability chew and swallow. Now 8 years old, Suki, who still possesses all of her cognitive abilities, requires a feeding tube and 15 hours a week of physical therapy to stay strong.
UAB and Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham offer hope for children affected by Rett Syndrome
Fortunately, there is hope right here in Birmingham at Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Alan Percy, professor and director of UAB’s Rett Syndrome clinic at Children’s, is one of the world’s leading experts on the developmental disorder.
Researchers have already identified the gene that causes Rett Syndrome. The gene is responsible for a protein that works in the nucleus of the cell to control other genes, and it is very important in the brain. It’s possible that if a cure is found for Rett Syndrome, the same science could lead to treatments for autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, anxiety and autonomic nervous system disorders.
“Rett Syndrome is theoretically reversible. We (UAB) have researchers who’ve been working on Rett Syndrome for a number of years. We’ve made substantial progress. We have both the clinical and the research expertise here to carry forward for the future. The SUKI Foundation is very important to us in making that possible.”—Dr. Alan Percy
With help and support from the Birmingham community, SUKI Foundation gave $500,000 to establish a UAB professorship in 2017
The Batehs founded SUKI Foundation to help other families like theirs and to support the researchers and clinicians who are searching for a cure for Rett Syndrome. Many local Birmingham businesses, including Slice Pizza & Brewhouse, have raised money for the foundation’s important cause.
In February 2017, support from the Birmingham community enabled SUKI Foundation to donate $500,000 to UAB to establish the Sarah Katherine Bateh Endowed Professorship in Rett Syndrome, the first endowed professorship for Rett syndrome at UAB. The funds were matched by Children’s of Alabama and UAB.
“The community, their support, their love, mean a ton to our family. We just want to say thank you. Please don’t stop. A cure will be here in our lifetime. I truly believe that.”—Brian Bateh
Get out to SliceFest on June 16 and help support SUKI Foundation!
Thanks to the local Birmingham sponsors of SliceFest 2018 who make this community event possible.
SliceFest 2018 Headlining Act Sponsor
- Birmingham Budweiser Distributing
SliceFest 2018 Featured Act Sponsors
- Tito’s Handmade Vodka
SliceFest 2018 Opening Act Sponsor
- Metropolitan, an upscale urban living experience
SliceFest 2018 Support Act Sponsors
- Brik Realty
- Southside Apartment Company
- Alabama Crown Distributing Company
- Red Diamond Coffee & Tea
- Birmingham Sport & Social Club
- Xcelerate Networks
- Burns, Brasher & Johnson LLC
- KC Projects
- Vida Flo
- Birmingham Assurance Financial
- Gone for Good document destruction and e-waste recycling
This article is sponsored by: